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J.Health Sci., 57(6), 521-531, 2011

-Regular Article-

Preliminary Research for the Anti-obesity Effect of Puerariae Flos Extract in Humans

Tomoyasu Kamiya,*, a Yuki Matsuzuka,a Nobutaka Kusaba,a Motoya Ikeguchi,a Kinya Takagaki,a and Kazuo Kondob

aResearch and Development Division, Toyo Shinyaku Co. Ltd., 7-28 Yayoigaoka, Tosu-shi, Saga 841-0005, Japan and bInstitution of Environmental Science for Human Life, Ochanomizu University, 2-1-1 Ohtsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8610, Japan

This research is preliminary study to examine whether puerariae flos extract (PFE) makes any action to body fat of man or not. We conducted the double-blind placebo controlled study on eighty mildly obese subjects for 8 weeks. The subjects were randomly divided into 4 groups: I, II, III, and IV. Subjects in groups I, II, and III consumed test food containing 100, 200, and 300 mg PFE, respectively, while those in group IV were given placebo food for 8 weeks. All subjects were instructed to restrict their total-energy intake to within 2650 kcal/day in the case of males and 2300 kcal/day in the case of females during the test period. Haematological and biochemical markers of blood, urinary markers, and physical markers were examined at 0, 4, and 8 weeks during the test period. As a result, no adverse effects were noted in any of the groups. For physical examinations, we analysed only males whose initial body mass index (BMI) values were over 24. BMI value and body weights of the subjects in group III were significantly reduced, and total fat area and subcutaneous fat area of the subjects in groups II and III were significantly reduced over the 8-week test period. Moreover, as a result of comparison among groups by unpaired t-test, significant difference appeared between group III and group IV in BMI. Total fat area in group III tend to decrease compared with group IV. By these results, the reduction of BMI in group III may reflect fat area reduction. To confirm the anti-obesity effect of PFE, we need to research particularly by extensive studies hereafter.