Metabolic Syndrome Project

Desert Labs is engaged in a variety of studies exploring medicinal properties of succulent plants. The press release cited below describes the results of a study performed by Hadassah Medical Center’s technology transfer company Hadasit and Desert Labs. It bears no impact on our current commercial product, The Ice Cube Diet. Please read disclaimers at the bottom of this page.

To read the original Press Release at Hadassah’s website click here.

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Hadassah and Desert Labs Researchers Demonstrate that Cactus Extract Alleviates Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome and Fatty Liver Disease

03/11/2009

Jerusalem – Researchers at the Hadassah University Medical Center have demonstrated that – when administered orally for a month – the frozen natural extract of the succulent plant Hoodia Parviflora decreases the level of sugar in the blood and improves the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in patients with fatty liver disease. This is the first time this plant’s extract proved to efficiently decrease the level of fat in the liver and the first time scientists succeeded in improving symptoms of fatty liver disease using natural materials, in addition to the plant’s appetite suppressing properties.

Dr. Meir Mizrahi and Dr. Gadi Lalazar headed the team of researchers from the Liver Unit at Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, in collaboration with Dr. Refael Aharon of Desert Labs. They will present their findings at the annual conference of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Boston today. More than 7,000 researchers from 55 countries attend the conference. 8 Hadassah doctors will present there 14 of their works.

Fatty Liver Disease is characterized by the development of surplus fat in the liver cells. It is caused mainly by obesity, diabetes and hyperlipidemia – elevation of lipids in the bloodstream – mostly tryglicerides. Insulin Resistance, the relationship between these factors and the disease, occurs when cells do not react normally to insulin, increasing the level of sugar and hyperlipidemia in the body. Fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease in the western world and is becoming increasingly prevalent in other parts of the world as well.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from Metabolic Syndrome Obesity, whose main symptoms are diabetes and a surplus of fat in the liver; 40 percent of Israelis between 40 and 50 suffer from the Syndrome as well. Research has revealed that people with Metabolic Syndrome are 3.5 times higher at risk of death than the people with heart diseases. In the US, people with Metabolic Syndrome spend $4,000 a year on medications – four times higher than the average spending level.

For their study, the Hadassah researchers used frozen Hoodia Parviflora produced by Desert Labs in Kibbutz Yotvata. Their innovative treatment improved metabolic syndrome symptoms in mice with fatty liver disease. The researchers will begin the next stage of the clinical trials in the coming months.

“The results we have seen open new possibilities in the treatment of fatty liver disease, based on a natural product,” said Dr. Lalazar.

“These findings are a natural extension of Desert Labs’ first commercial product – Hoodia-based satiety balancing The Ice Cube Diet,” said Dr. Aharon.

Hadasit, Hadassah’s technology transfer company, and Desert Labs where scientists combine the wisdom of nature and high-tech innovation previously entered into a formal agreement to jointly develop products from pure Hoodia Parviflora to treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases.