In a 3-month trial, Danish researchers showed that compared with overweight women taking medically inactive placebos, those taking oral ephedrine (20 milligrams three times a day) lost somewhat more weight. And in a 2-month study, Italian researchers found that overweight women lost more weight if they supplemented a low-calorie diet with oral ephedrine (50 milligrams three times a day).
Japanese researchers gave some animals high-fat, high-cholesterol feed, while others received the same feed with maitake added (5 to 20 percent of feed). As expected, the control animals gained weight, but the maitake group did not. By the end of the study, the control animals weighed 25 percent more than the maitake animals. Tokyo researchers told 30 overweight adults to continue eating as they had, but gave them maitake tablets, the equivalent of 7 ounces of the mushroom a day. Two months later, all of them had lost weight, ranging from 12 to 26 pounds.
A diet high in plant foods helps control blood pressure. Israeli scientists gave 63 adult diabetics either a placebo or purslane (three 500 milligram capsules a day). After 3 months, those taking purslane showed lower blood pressure.
Iranian researchers assessed the blood pressure of 48 diabetic adults and then gave them either a daily cup of yogurt or yogurt with purslane seeds (10 grams, about one-third of an ounce). After 5 weeks, the groups switched treatments (a crossover trial). While taking purslane, participants’ blood pressure declined significantly and participants lost weight while taking purslane—about a pound in 5 weeks.
Caffeine (present in tea) increases basal metabolic rate, the rate at which the body burns calories while at rest. Several studies show that in physician-supervised weight-loss programs, coffee drinking modestly increases weight loss. French and Japanese studies show that tea also contributes to weight loss.