Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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The purpose of visceral fat is to generate a burst of energy from fatty acids when the body requires it. But a marked increase in sedentary behaviour means the fat isn’t needed as much. This is problematic because it continues to leak proteins and hormones that increase inflammation, hiking the risk of disease. Fortunately, one plant, which can be consumed in the form of a supplement, may help rid the body of the fat.

Gurmar, also known as Gymnema Sylvestre, gets most of its fame for its anti-diabetic qualities.

According to one line of research, however, the plant may aid with weight loss by suppressing appetite.

In one comparative study, published in Drug Research, researchers studied the effects of the plant on an array of disease markers, including visceral fat and cholesterol.

The three-week experiment demonstrated that a water extract of gurmar could successfully reduce body weight.

READ MORE: Visceral fat: The 69p herb that could help reduce the dangerous belly fat in ‘weeks’

The researchers concluded: “The results of this study show that water-soluble fraction of Gymnema Sylvestre extract possesses anti-obesity effect.”

These findings were echoed in one human study, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism.

The study of 60 moderately-obese people saw a decrease in body weight and reduced food intake after taking the extract.

In fact, the participants saw their body weight decrease by five-six percent over the course of eight weeks.

Alongside its anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects, the researchers observed significant reductions in cholesterol levels too.

The extract specifically lowered levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides by 19 percent and 20.2 percent respectively.

What’s more, levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol were increased by 22 percent, which is useful in helping rid the body of harmful lipids.

It’s been hypothesised that gurmar aid in weight loss by means of suppressing certain food cravings.

Ieva Kubiliute, Wellness Psychologist, explained: “Gurmar is a major appetite suppressor [that] also reduces sugar absorption in the blood.

“You can chew its leaves or make a drink [out of it].”

One benefit added benefit of consuming gurmar is that it can reduce sugar cravings by making sweet foods less appealing.

This was illustrated in one very early study published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour which found “sweetness perception” of foods was reduced in half of the subjects by oral application of Gymnema Sylvestre extracts.

Blocking sweet receptors on the taste buds could lead to a consistent calorie deficit, which in turn leads to weight loss.

Health experts recommend coupling any dietary changes with at least half an hour of vigorous exercise daily, to lose visceral fat effectively.

Individuals who are unable to exercise without eating more, should try eating less.

This is important as the body needs a negative energy balance to reduce levels of fat.

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