The Mechanistic Approach to Tackle Obesity Using Traditional Herbal Plants

The Mechanistic Approach to Tackle Obesity Using Traditional Herbal Plants

Saniyah Saleem Khan
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4808-0.ch005
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Obesity is a medical metabolic condition where a person accumulates excess body fat that might affect their health. Obesity is a prevalent global health problem linked with other life-threatening chronic diseases like cardiovascular, certain types of cancer, diabetes, renal, cerebrovascular, bone, and muscle-related diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is the fifth foremost cause of global deaths. Many allopathic drugs and surgical treatments for managing obesity are available in the market. However, these conventional methods have adverse side effects and chances of recurrence. For more than 2,000 years, herbal medicines have been used for the treatment of many diseases efficiently. This chapter addresses the current progress in the effectiveness of several herbal medications used for the treatment of obesity without causing side effects. The possible effects and mechanisms of using these herbaceous plants in the treatment of obese and overweight humans and animals are covered extensively.
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WHO measures obesity by using the Body mass index(BMI) scale. An individual with BMI between 25-29.9 is scaled to be overweight and equal to or above 30 is considered obese. This index is for both male and female adults (Obesity and overweight, 2020). Obesity can be characterized as excessive increased adipose tissue to the extent that it can cause adverse health effects in the human body.

The leading cause of obesity is an imbalance in energy between calories consumed (Verma, 2014) and burned. This imbalance can be due to many factors, including inherited gene, hormonal imbalance, side effects of medicines taken for some other diseases, etc. as suggested by the authors Darbre (2017), Verhaegen (2017).

According to WHO, obesity is related to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, cancer, endocrine and metabolic disturbances, osteoarthritis, Gout, pulmonary diseases, as well as psychological issues, including social bias, prejudice, discrimination, and overeating (Obesity and overweight, 2020). Obesity is now one of the most prevalent health problems in all populations and age groups globally, resulting in substantial mortality and morbidity increases (Fleming and Robinson, 2013).

Researcher like Harvey & Ogden (2014) claim that in reducing obesity, at least about 5% or more weight loss should be viewed as a healing agent. Studies have shown that weight loss of 5% to 10% can make people vulnerable to some diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorders can minimize and reduce other complications linked to obesity (Harvey and Ogden 2014).

Obesity can be caused by the following factors and can have many health risks, as summarized in Figure.1. Furthermore, the prevalence of obesity and its treatment and their limitations are also discussed in this chapter.

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