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Self-treatment with herbal products for weight-loss among overweight and obese subjects from central Mexico.

J Ethnopharmacol; 234: 21-26, 2019 Apr 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30641103
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Mexico ranks second in the world for obesity prevalence. In Mexico, obese and overweight subjects commonly seek alternative treatments for weight-loss, including the use of herbal products.


The main objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of self-medication with herbal products for weight-loss among overweight and obese subjects residing in four states (Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, State of Mexico, and Mexico City) from central Mexico. In addition, the factors related to self-medication among patients were studied.


A total of 1404 overweight and obese subjects were interviewed. A chi-square test examined associations between socio-demographic and socio-economic information, and self-medication with herbal products for weight-loss.


The prevalence of self-medication was 42.9% among the participants who used herbal products for weight-loss. The female gender was the strongest factor (OR: 2.20 (1.75-2.77) associated with self-medication for weight-loss, followed by a low educational level (elementary and middle school) [OR: 1.80 (1.31-2.44)], and a middle-socioeconomic status [OR: 1.75 (1.21-2.52)]. The main herbal products used for weight-loss were based on: i) green tea, Camellia sinensis (12.7% of frequency), ii) aceitilla, Bidens odorata (6.6%), and iii) soybean, Glycine max (5.3%). In addition, 65% of the respondents considered herbal products ineffective for weight-loss after 6 months of use.


Due to the high incidence of overweight and obesity in Mexico, there is a high prevalence (42.9%) of self-medication using natural products for weight-loss, particularly in women from Central Mexico. This study indicates the important need to educate patients about the harmful effects of consuming these products.