From today we know that we have a new powerful ally in the fight against obesity and related disorders, such as inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, rooibos tea! In fact, as demonstrated by a very recent scientific research, rooibos counteracts the accumulation of fat and reduces inflammation levels, as well as helping to keep nervous hunger under control. But let's try to understand better by analyzing the results of the research published in the journal Nutrients by a group of French scientists (Nehme et al, Nutrients, April 2023).
Obesity and related diseases
Obesity marks ever-increasing numbers. It is estimated that, in 2050, obesity will affect 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men. Obesity occurs when the body mass index, calculated by dividing weight in kg by height in meters squared, is higher than 30 kg/m2. The causes of obesity are many and can be traced back to an unregulated diet rich in fats and sugars, to a sedentary life, but also to hormonal and genetic factors. The problem with obesity is that it brings with it other ailments, such as chronic inflammation, which in turn increases the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, a weakened immune system, depression and cellular degeneration. For this reason, science is constantly looking for substances, preferably natural, well tolerated and without side effects, which are able to counteract obesity and its consequences. The research we are discussing today has delved into the role of rooibos tea.
The properties of rooibos
Rooibos tea is obtained by infusing the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant, of the legume family, in boiling water. This tea is rich in antioxidants, including aspalathin, which is a peculiar substance of rooibos. Previous studies have shown that rooibos tea, thanks to its anti-free radical and anti-inflammatory properties, fights neurodegeneration and anxiety, protects the heart, thanks to its antihypertensive and cholesterol-lowering action, and strengthens the immune system. Other research has then hypothesized the anti-obesity properties of rooibos, which have been fully confirmed by the French study, which is today's topic.
Rooibos against obesity and inflammation, the study
The research was carried out in the laboratory. Rooibos extracts have been placed in contact with adipose tissue and blood taken from volunteers during blood tests and cosmetic surgery operations. The researchers recreated an environment typical of obesity, namely characterized by inflammation. In this way it was possible to study the action of rooibos in case of obesity. What emerged was of considerable importance, as the rooibos tea extracts were able, in the first place, to reduce free radicals and pro-inflammatory substances. Not only that, rooibos has been able to inhibit the intracellular accumulation of fat and adipogenesis, which is the formation of adipose tissue. But rooibos also acts on the centers that regulate appetite. In fact, rooibos extracts have increased the HSL enzyme, which decreases the desire for food, especially in stressful conditions that could lead to the classic nervous hunger, a real danger for those who want to keep their body weight under control.
Conclusions and warnings
The research scientists conclude that the introduction of rooibos tea within a varied and balanced diet appears to be a promising candidate for preventing and combating obesity associated with chronic inflammation. Aspalatin, the active principle of rooibos, is contained in the infusion in percentages similar to those used in the experiment, therefore also a rooibos tea, and not only its extracts, appears to be beneficial for health in order to reduce risk of obesity and related diseases. To prepare a rooibos tea, bring a cup of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add a teaspoon of dried rooibos, you can find it in herbal medicine and specialized shops. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and drink. Rooibos tea is safe and without side effects. However, ask your doctor for advice if you are taking any medications and intend to take rooibos regularly. In fact, an interaction between rooibos and some drugs is possible, such as the medicines used for type 2 diabetes, but also the statins used in case of hypercholesterolemia.