Evodiamine is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the unripened fruit of the Evodia Rutaecarpa plant. The compound is known for improving digestion, alleviating pain and improving cardiovascular health.
Recently, some weight loss supplements have also claimed that the compound can help curb obesity. But do these claims have any clinical research to back them?
To tackle that question, let’s take a look at the science behind Evodiamine’s function in our body and how it correlates to weight loss.
Evodiamine and Weight Loss: What Does the Science say?
Weight loss supplements make 3 major claims regarding Evodiamine:
All three of these claims can be linked directly to weight loss so it’s important to test them in detail.
A Promising Find: Reduced Fat Accumulation
A popular claim regarding Evodiamine is that it can have a direct effect on reducing fat accumulation. There’s even some evidence that backs up this claim.
For example, a 2010 study treated human white preadipocytes (infant fat cells) with 1.2 mg of Evodiamine. Results showed that the compound significantly inhibited preadipocytes from turning into new mature fat cells.
An older 2008 study also supports the theory that Evodiamine can inhibit adipocyte differentiation (creation of new fat cells).
In the study, a group of mice were fed a high fat diet which was supplemented with a 0.03% dosage of evodiamine over a 2 month period. Researchers noted that evodiamine supplementation subsequently reduced insulin-stimulated crucial regulators of adipocyte differentiation — thus reducing the creation of new fat cells.
Increased Thermogenesis and Reduced Appetite
Keeping that in mind, the most detailed clinical research supporting this claim is a 2001 study consisting of two individual experiments on mice. Both experiments involved supplementing the diet of rats with 0.03% and 0.02% evodiamine respectively. This resulted in the mice’s skin temperature rising by 5 degrees, thus indicating stimulated thermogenesis.
For the claim that Evodiamine suppresses your appetite, I was only able to find one study conducted in 2009. It involved administering Evodiamine in 40 mg/kg body weight doses to 5 week old juvenile rats for 25 days.
Results of the supplementation showed a decrease in the levels of essential peptides responsible for regulating hunger signals in the brain and stimulating appetite.
What This Means
Now, while all of these studies provide some good evidence, there are 2 major problems here:
Firstly, the number of studies conducted on the compound is quite limited, with many of them not being up to code. For example, some of these studies did not have a placebo group to compare with, while others did not mention their sample size — rendering them inconclusive.
Secondly — and more importantly — apart from the one human study I found, almost all of the other studies have been conducted exclusively on animal subjects. Thus, leaving no way for me to confirm if evodiamine can have the same effect on humans.
To make matters worse, I actually found a 2013 study in which 11 men were supplemented with 500 mg of evodiamine. Their heart rate, blood pressure and core temperature were measured 1 hour after supplementation and immediately after post exercise. The results showed that even after a 30 minute exercise bout, the men showed no signs of increased thermogenesis and fat oxidation.
All of these findings point towards the fact that evidence for evodiamine as a weight loss supplement is quite weak.
Evodiamine has a long history of being used for treating digestion problems like nausea, vomiting and stomach aches. However, there’s just not enough evidence to prove that Evodiamine is also effective as a weight loss ingredient.
In fact, most of the studies conducted on it so far are on animal subjects with the exception of 2; one for and one against the topic at hand.
Thus, I’d have to see some more in-depth human centred studies before I recommend it as a bonafide weight loss ingredient.