Kudzu Root: Good and Bad News about This Butt Fat Buster
Kudzu root has recently been promoted as a potential butt fat busting supplement that can help women reduce the fat that has accumulated over their gluteal muscles. While it appears that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that eating Kudzu root is harmful—at least over a relatively short time period and in reasonable doses—there are some significant contraindications that Kudzu root can have on a woman’s health.
Kudzu root is a very invasive, high-climbing, perennial vine from Asia that originally was introduced to the U.S. as a way to control soil erosion, but has since turned into more of a nuisance than a help throughout the southeastern U.S. Varieties of Kudzu fall under names such as Pueraria lobata, Pueraria thomsonii and Pueraria mirifica depending on the origin of the particular Kudzu plant.
Kudzu has a long history of use as a traditional Chinese medicinal plant to treat a wide variety of ailments, of which the most intriguing studied was its use to treat alcoholism. Studies with Kudzu involving alcoholic hamsters have shown that Kudzu does lead to a decrease in their craving for alcohol. With humans, however, Kudzu failed to demonstrate any benefit toward helping recovering alcoholics remain on the wagon. Reportedly in some short term experiments, Kudzu did reduce the beer consumption in heavy alcohol drinkers.
More recent research has shown promise that Kudzu may be beneficial to women who are post-menopausal.
Kudzu possesses plant steroid hormones called phytoestrogens that are very similar to the estrogen post-menopausal women are deficient in. One of the major problems faced by post-menopausal women is the development of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome due to the lack of normal estrogen levels. Hormone replacement therapy is not a desired alternative because it increases the risk of a woman developing breast or uterine cancer.
However, researchers have found that the phytoestrogens from Kudzu actually mimics human estrogen by binding to tissue specific estrogen receptors in the female body—with the exception of the breast and uterine tissues. Therefore, phytoestrogens from Kudzu might prove to be useful as a safe estrogen replacement therapy for post-menopausal women. In fact, in an animal study involving obese mice that had their ovaries removed and while fed a high fat, researchers discovered that extracts from Kudzu added to the diets of the obese mice resulted in a reversal in weight gain and fat accumulation.