Gegen is the name of an ingredient found in many diet pills as well as other natural supplements. It is a substance extracted from a vine plant that spreads quickly and easily.
It is not native to North America but was introduced in the southeastern United States in 1876 as a soil erosion prevention project due to its ability to spread quickly. Unfortunately, this plant, also known as kudzu, spread more rapidly than expected and became known as “the vine that ate the South” as it took over buildings, farms and pretty much everything else in its way.
The plant has many different names, any of which could appear on a diet pill or supplement label. These include: Japanese arrowroot, kakkon, Pueraria candollei, Pueraria lobata, pueraria root, red Indian kudzu, way aka, yege, daidzein, bilaikanda, fen ke, fenge, and many more.
The parts of the gegen plant that are used for natural medicinal purposes include the flower, leaf and root. People use it for treating everything from nausea and vomiting to hangover, headache and dizziness. Some also use it for circulatory issues such as chest pain, heartbeat issues, blood pressure and more . Others use it for hay fever, cold, flu and sinus infection symptoms. It may be applied topically for itchiness, psoriasis, and allergic skin rashes.
The reason it is sometimes included in diet pill formulas is that some people use it to treat weight gain issues relating to menopause. Therefore, it has spread beyond that specific group of people and became appealing to dieters as a whole.
Gegen is believed to work through naturally occurring chemicals that counteract the effects of alcohol – either ingested in foods and drink or those naturally occurring in the body. Some research indicates that it may also replicate certain estrogen-like effects. This ingredient may or may not promote blood circulation in the brain and heart.
Some research shows that it may indeed be helpful for the treatment of alcoholism and hangover. Binge drinkers and heavy drinkers who take gegen will consume less alcohol when they have the opportunity. That said, it does not reduce the overall alcohol craving, nor does it improve sobriety after alcohol has been consumed.
There isn’t yet sufficient evidence to determine whether gegen can help with issues such as chest pains, coronary heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease among diabetes patients, diabetic retinopathy, heart failure, exercise performance, high blood pressure, stroke, lower back pain, menopause symptoms or heart attack, despite preliminary studies.
There also has not yet been enough research into gegen as a weight loss aid to determine whether or not it should be considered helpful. Despite a few very small and limited studies, much more research needs to be done before the ingredient can be considered proven or even promising. Early results are conflicting, with some positive outcomes and others showing no benefit.