NeOpuntia ® (Prickly Pear)

What Is NeOpuntia ® (Prickly Pear)?

NeOpuntia is a registered trademarked name for a certain form of certified organic prickly pear.  It gets its name from the Latin name of its species, which is Opuntia ficus indica.  This is a 100 percent natural ingredient which is made from the dehydrated leaves of this cactus plant.  Research has shown that it can be helpful on blood lipid parameters as well as on diagnosis for Syndrome X, also known as microvascular angina.

How Is NeOpuntia ® (Prickly Pear) Used For Weight Loss?

The prickly pear cactus that makes up NeOpuntia has been a part of the Mexican-American and Mexican diets for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  The key is to consume the younger plants as they become too tough to eat when they age.  Aside from being a food, the plant has also been used in medicine for a spectrum of different reasons. These include treatments for obesity, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, diarrhea, colitis, certain viral infections and even hangovers from alcohol consumption.

The reason NeOpuntia is believed to work is that the prickly pear cactus contains certain kinds of pectin and fiber.  These are though to reduce blood glucose levels by lowering sugar absorption by the stomach and intestines.

In weight management supplements, this ingredient is often included in formulas as a fat binder.  Opuntia ficus-indica has been extensively studied in relation to weight loss and other related conditions and the body of research continues to grow over time.  The outcome of the findings often support the use of this substance by dieters who are following a reduced calorie and increased physical activity lifestyle.

NeOpuntia ® (Prickly Pear) Research and Studies

A 2007 study published in the Advances in Therapy journal showed that patients suffering from metabolic syndrome and who used this ingredient were able to better their blood lipid parameters.  This helped them to decrease their cardiovascular risks.

Another study, this one published in the Nutrition journal in 2015, was a randomized clinical trial which linked the use of opuntia ficus-indica to measurable body fat percentage reductions.  That same study pointed out that the participants were able to reduce their blood pressure and total cholesterol levels at the same time.  That research was considered to be somewhat early but underscored the promise showed by the use of this ingredient for weight management and that it was worthy of more investigation into how it can be best used.

In 2014, the Current Therapeutic Research journal published a study in which it showed that patients using opuntia ficus-indica excreted more of the fat they consumed in their foods.  The participants were healthy adults and the researchers concluded that the ingredient reduces the dietary fat absorption by the human body.

* Linarès, E., Thimonier, C., Degre, M. “The effect of neopuntia® on blood lipid parameters—Risk factors for the metabolic syndrome”. Advances in Therapy. September/October 2007, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1115-1125.

** Onakpoya, I.J., O’Sullivan, J., Heneghan C.J. “The effect of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials”. Nutrition. 2015 May;31(5):640-6.

*** Uebelhack, R., Busch, R., Alt, F., Beah, Z-M., Chong, P-W., “Effects of Fiber on the Excretion of Dietary Fat in Healthy Subjects: A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Clinical Investigation”. Current Therapeutic Research. Volume 76, December 2014, Pages 39–44.

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