Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant. They’ve been used medicinally for thousands of years. New research shows they may help in the battle against obesity.

Rosehips have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and have been studied to have value in a range of health conditions. Now research suggests this fruit from wild rose blossoms may be an effective treatment for the modern epidemic of obesity.

Earlier animal studies demonstrated that rosehip extract inhibits weight gain and decreases visceral fat. But it wasn’t clear whether it could also help people.

Japanese researchers decided to find out. They conducted a 12-week, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study of 32 people with a body mass index of more than 25 but less than 30. A BMI in that range is considered overweight but not obese.

Every day the subjects received a chewable tablet containing either a placebo or 100 mg of rosehip extract. During the study, the participants didn’t make any changes to their diets or their calorie intake.

The researchers measured abdominal body fat (subcutaneous and visceral fat), body fat percentage, weight, and body mass index at various times during the trial.

At week 12, abdominal fat, visceral fat, body weight, and BMI all decreased significantly in the rosehip group compared to their baseline numbers and compared to the placebo group. Body fat percentage in the rosehip group also decreased compared to baseline numbers and compared to the placebo group.

The authors concluded rosehip extract may be useful as a supplement to safely reduce abdominal visceral fat in pre-obese people.

They also suggested that by reducing visceral fat, rosehip extract could also be expected to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

How does rosehip extract work?

The extract used in the study contained 0.1% of tiliroside, a major rosehip seed constituent. The researchers noted that tiliroside accelerates fat metabolism and improves glucose clearance. It inhibits fat accumulation in tissue and at the same time stimulates fat burning.

Tiliroside also has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial properties.

Rosehips are also a rich source of natural vitamin C. One hundred grams of dried rosehips can contain 1700 to 2000 milligrams of vitamin C. That compares to an orange which contains about 50 mg per 100 grams of fruit. As a result, rosehip supplements are often used to boost the immune system and prevent or treat colds.

They are also high in vitamin A, calcium, iron, vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and B complex vitamins.

Rosehips are used in jams, jellies, juices, and syrups. You can also make an herbal tea using the loose dried rosehips or rosehip tea bags.

They are also available in supplement form. Studies show rosehip supplementation also relieves:

• Chronic lower back pain
• Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee
• Rheumatoid arthritis