- The Plate
New Hope for Weight Loss May Grow on a Chinese Vine
Thunder god vine (Tripterygium wilfordii), a deciduous and largely poisonous climbing vine native to China, Taiwan, and Myanmar, may hold the secret to getting skinny, at least in mice.
A study published this past week in the journal Cell found that a compound called Celastrol, extracted from thunder god vine root, caused obese mice to spontaneously and voluntarily go on a diet. Celastrol-treated obese mice ate 80 percent less food than the control (non-treated) mice, and after three weeks of Celastrol treatment, the formerly fat mice had become positively svelte, shedding on average 45 percent of their body weight. The icing on the cake: Celastrol also decreased mouse cholesterol levels, improved liver function, and enhanced glucose metabolism.
As an anti-fat regimen, Celastrol