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J Pharm Pharmacol. 1999 Nov;51(11):1313-9.

Novel weight-reducing activity of Galega officinalis in mice.

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Phytochemistry Research Laboratories, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.


Galega officinalis (galega, Goat's Rue, French Lilac) is well known for its hypoglycaemic action and has been used as part of a plant mixture in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. During pharmacological investigations of an ethanolic extract of a powdered mixture of equal proportions of G. officinalis, Cressa cretica, Mangifera indica and Syzygium jambolanum, a weight reducing effect of galega was discovered. In this study we have investigated the novel weight reducing effect of galega in mice. Galega herb (10% w/w in the diet) caused a significant reduction in body weight in both normal and genetically obese (ob/ob) animals treated for 28 days when compared with respective controls (P < 0.01). In normal mice, the weight loss was reversible and initially associated with a transient reduction in food intake but was then maintained even in the presence of increased eating above the control level. Pair-fed normal mice receiving galega for seven days also showed significant weight loss (P < 0.01, compared with the control) in the presence of increasing food intake. In sharp contrast, weight loss in galega-treated ob/ob mice was accompanied by a persistent reduction in food intake over the 28-day treatment period. Post-mortem examinations of all galega-treated mice revealed a striking absence of body fat. Serum glucose was significantly reduced in both strains of mice receiving galega for 28 days (P < 0.01), whereas serum insulin was significantly reduced only in obese mice (P < 0.01). In summary, together with its established hypoglycaemic effects, galega has a novel weight reducing action that, in normal mice, is largely independent of a reduction in food intake. The mechanism of the weight reducing action of galega is unclear but involves loss of body fat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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