Oligonol is a substance extracted from lychee fruit. Known to offer antioxidant effects, oligonol is touted as a natural remedy for a number of health problems. In addition, oligonol is said to promote weight loss and slow the aging process.
In alternative medicine, oligonol is purported to help treat the following health conditions:
- Insulin resistance
- Metabolic syndrome
Oligonol is also said to aid in cancer prevention, protect the body from the negative effects of stress, and inhibit the buildup of abdominal fat.
To date, research on the health effects of oligonol is limited. However, there’s some evidence that oligonol may offer certain benefits. Here’s a look at several key findings from the available studies:
Preliminary research suggests that oligonol may help reduce inflammation, an aging-related biological process linked to the development of many diseases.
In a small study published in Nutrition Research and Practice, researchers assigned 19 healthy young men to four weeks of treatment with either a placebo or a dietary supplement containing oligonol. By the study’s end, those treated with oligonol showed a significantly greater decrease in several markers of inflammation (compared to members of the placebo group). In addition, oligonol appeared to help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Several animal-based studies indicate that oligonol may offer anti-obesity effects. In a 2009 study published in Phytotherapy Research, for instance, tests on rats revealed that oligonol intake may help stimulate the breakdown of fat.
Oligonol may help protect against certain diabetes-related complications, according to animal-based research. A 2010 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that oligonol helped reduce kidney damage in diabetic mice, while a 2011 study from the same journal determined that oligonol helped shield diabetic mice from liver damage.
Oligonol may help fight off the flu, suggests a 2010 study published in Phytomedicine. In a laboratory experiment, scientists discovered that oligonol may help inhibit the growth and spread of the influenza virus.
Oligonol may possess anti-cancer properties, according to a preliminary study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2009. In tests on mice, the study’s authors demonstrated that oligonol may help stop melanoma from spreading to other organs.
Due to a lack of scientific research, little is known about the safety of long-term use of supplements containing oligonol.
It’s important to keep in mind that supplements haven’t been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You should research how to use supplements safely.
Where to Find It
Widely available for purchase online, supplements containing oligonol can be found in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.
Using Oligonol for Health
Due to the limited research, it’s too soon to recommend oligonol as a treatment for any condition. It’s important to note that self-treating a condition with oligonol and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you’re considering the use of oligonol in the treatment of a condition, make sure to consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.