A Review of Natural Stimulant and Non-stimulant Thermogenic Agents

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Obesity and overweight are major health issues. Exercise and calorie intake control are recognized as the primary mechanisms for addressing excess body weight. Naturally occurring thermogenic plant constituents offer adjunct means for assisting in weight management. The controlling mechanisms for thermogenesis offer many intervention points. Thermogenic agents can act through stimulation of the central nervous system with associated adverse cardiovascular effects and through metabolic mechanisms that are non-stimulatory or a combination thereof. Examples of stimulatory thermogenic agents that will be discussed include ephedrine and caffeine. Examples of non-stimulatory thermogenic agents includep-synephrine (bitter orange extract), capsaicin, forskolin (Coleusroot extract), and chlorogenic acid (green coffee bean extract). Green tea is an example of a thermogenic with the potential to produce mild but clinically insignificant undesirable stimulatory effects. The use of the aforementioned thermogenic agents in combination with other extracts such as those derived fromSalacia reticulata,Sesamum indicum,Lagerstroemia speciosa,Cissus quadrangularis, andMoringa olifera, as well as the use of the carotenoids as lutein and fucoxanthin, and flavonoids as naringin and hesperidin can further facilitate energy metabolism and weight management as well as sports performance without adverse side effects. © 2016 The Authors Phytotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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