Is Cissus Quadrangularis effective for minimizing fat gain while overfeeding?

 

Cissus Quadrangularis (CQ) shows up in the 4-Hour Body as part of Occam’s Prescriptions

This is one of the more interesting supplements in the 4-Hour Body; certainly, it is the most difficult to pronounce.

Prior to reading the 4-Hour Body I had never heard of CQ but with further review I found that it is fairly common in bodybuilding circles and is a component of many supplement combinations.

CQ appears to be safe in the short term (8 weeks) and may help promote bone repair among other things. Preliminary clinical research shows that taking a specific Cissus Quadrangularis combination reduces weight and lipid levels in overweight and obese patients.  These studies are of moderate to low quality.

In The 4-Hour Body Tim claims:

“For those who can afford it, I believe CQ is very effective for minimizing unwanted fat gain while overfeeding. Until more human studies are done, I don’t plan on continuous use, but I will use it during 8–12 week growth cycles, on “off” days, or after joint sprains”.

As seen in Occam’s Prescriptions

Cissus Quadrangularis: 2,400 mg three times per day

  • Alpa-Lipoid Acid:300mg, 30 minutes before each whole food meal
  • L-Glutamine:
    • Consume 80 grams during the first five days of Occam’s Protocol:
    • 10 grams every 2 hours on the dot until 80-gram quota is reached
    • After the Initial five day loading period: 10-30 grams post workout will speed repair and help prevent sorenes
  • Creatinine Monohydrate: For 28 days:
    • Consume 3.5 grams upon waking
    • Consume 3.5 grams before bed
    • if you use powder, mix in 5-6 grams total as losing one to two grams in solution is hard to avoid.

CISSUS QUADRANGULARIS

Cissus quadrangularis is a succulent vine indigenous to Africa and Asia. It is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in Thailand, and is also used in traditional African and Ayurvedic medicine. Due to the purported anabolic effects on bone, Cissus quadrangularis has become a popular addition in body building supplements as an alternative to anabolic steroids.

People Use This For:

Orally, Cissus quadrangularis is used for obesity and weight loss, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hyperlipidemia. It has also been used for bone fractures, osteoporosis, scurvy, cancer, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), dysmenorrhea, asthma, malaria, and pain. Cissus quadrangularis is also used in body building supplements as an alternative to anabolic steroids.

Effectiveness:

INSUFFICIENT RELIABLE EVIDENCE to RATE

Obesity. Preliminary clinical research shows that taking a specific Cissus quadrangularis combination product (Cylaris, Iovate Health Sciences Research) reduces weight and lipid levels in overweight and obese patients. Preliminary clinical research also shows that taking a specific Cissus quadrangularis extract (CQR-300) standardized to 2.5% keto-steroids and 15% soluble plant fiber reduces weight in obese and overweight patients. Taking a dose of 150 mg of the extract twice daily for 10 weeks produced a mean weight loss of 8.7 kg in people with a mean initial weight of 99 kg. Waist circumference, percentage body fat, and plasma total cholesterol levels were also decreased. These studies are of moderate to low quality, which limits the reliability of these findings.

More evidence is needed to rate Cissus quadrangularis for this use.

Safety:

POSSIBLY SAFE …when used orally and appropriately, short-term. Some evidence shows that a specific Cissus quadrangularis combination product (Cylaris, Iovate Health Sciences Research) can be safely used for up to 8 weeks. A specific Cissus quadrangularis extract (CQR-300) standardized to 2.5% keto-steroids and 15% soluble plant fiber has also been safely used for up to 6 weeks

PREGNANCY AND LACTATION: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using.

Mechanism of Action:

The applicable parts of Cissus quadrangularis are the whole plant, leaf, stem, or root. Cissus quadrangularis contains beta-sitosterol, ketosteroids, beta-carotene, vitamin C, the triterpenes alpha-amyrin and beta-amyrin, and the flavonoids quercetin and quercetrin. Other constituents include the stilbenes quadrangularin A, pallidol, resveratrol, piceatannol, and perthenocissin and the iridoids picroside, 6-O-[2,3-dimethoxy]-trans-cinnamoyl catalpol, and 6-O-meta-methoxy-benzoyl catalpol. Extracts of Cissus quadrangularis have antioxidant effects, possibly due to vitamin C, quercetin, and beta-carotene constituents. Constituents of Cissus quadrangularis are reported to inhibit lipase and amylase, reducing breakdown and absorption of dietary fats and carbohydrates, which could contribute to weight-loss. In animal models, Cissus quadrangularis extracts stimulate gastric cell proliferation and increase synthesis and secretion of gastric mucus. They also decrease the development of gastric lesions in aspirin-treated animals. These extracts decrease markers of inflammation, reduce lipid peroxidation, and increase antioxidants such as glutathione. Cissus quadrangularis extracts also decrease oxidative damage of DNA. These properties are thought to contribute to NSAID-related damage to the gastric mucosa and protection against peptic ulcers. Traditionally, Cissus quadrangularis has been used for hemorrhoids. Research in animal models shows that extracts of Cissus quadrangularis have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and venotonic effects. These pharmacological properties suggest possible benefit for reducing pain and inflammation and reducing the size of hemorrhoids. Cissus quadrangularis has antimicrobial activity in vitro. An extract of Cissus quadrangularis has activity against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro, suggesting possible antimalarial activity.

Adverse Reactions:

Orally, Cissus quadrangularis appears to be well-tolerated. Some side effects have been reported in clinical trials using a specific Cissus quadrangularis combination product (Cylaris, Iovate Health Sciences Research) including headache, flatulence, dry mouth, diarrhea, and insomnia; however, these side effects did not occur more frequently than with placebo. Toxicity has not been described in humans. In animal experiments, toxic overdose resulted in decreased appetite, staggering, dyspnea, diarrhea, and multi-organ damage including hemorrhaging in kidneys, lungs, heart, and intestine.

Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:

None known.

Interactions with Drugs:

None known.

Interactions with Foods:

None known.

Interactions with Lab Tests:

None known.

Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:

None known.

Dosage/Administration:

ORAL: For obesity and weight loss, a specific Cissus quadrangularis combination product (Cylaris, Iovate Health Sciences Research) taken twice daily has been used. A specific Cissus quadrangularis extract (CQR-300) 150 mg twice daily standardized to 2.5% keto-steroids and 15% soluble plant fiber taken twice daily has also been used.

Also Known As:

Asthisonhara, Chadhuri, Chaudhari, Cissus, Cissus Extract, Cissus Formula, Cissus Formulation, C. Quadrangularis, Cissus Quadrangularis Extract, CORE, CQ, CQE,CQR-300, Hadjod; Hadjora; Harbhanga, Harsankari, Hasjora, Kandavela, Mangaroli,Nalleru, Namunungwa, Phet Cha Sung Khaat, Phet Sang Kat, Phet Sangkhat, Pirandai,Quadrangularis, Samroi To, San Cha Khuat, Stemmed Vine, Vajravalli, Vedhari, Veld Grape, Veldt-grape, Winged Treebine.

Scientific Name:

Cissus quadrangularis, synonym Vitis quadrangularis. Family: Vitaceae.

From The Four Hour Body

Cissus quadrangularis (CQ) is an indigenous medicinal plant of India. It is a newcomer in mainstream supplementation, usually prescribed for joint repair. In July 2009, I experimented with high-dose CQ following elbow surgery due to a staph infection. Unexpectedly, used in combination with PAGG, it seemed to have synergistic anti-obesity and anabolic (muscle growth) effects. Upon performing a second literature review of its use in Ayurvedic medicine and fracture repair, it became clear that there were implications for preventing fat gain during overfeeding. Rural China, where I continued experimentation with CQ, provided high-volume rice meals combined with sweets at mandatory sit-down meals, 3–5 times per day. It was the perfect fat-gaining environment. CQ preserved my abs. I saw measurable fat-loss and anabolic effects once I reached 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams), three times per day 30 minutes prior to meals, for a total of 7.2 grams per day. Is that the magic dose? I had approximately 160 pounds (72.7 kilograms) of lean bodymass, so there might be a trigger at 45 milligrams per pound lean bodymass, or it could be an absolute effective dose regardless of bodyweight. Until long-term side-effect studies are done at these higher doses, I don’t suggest exceeding 7.2 grams per day. For those who can afford it, I believe CQ is very effective for minimizing unwanted fat gain while overfeeding. Until more human studies are done, I don’t plan on continuous use, but I will use it during 8–12 week growth cycles, on “off” days, or after joint sprains. Kevin Rose, one of my traveling companions during our three-week trip, lamented, “Glenn and I were getting fatter and fatter, while this f*cker was getting ripped. What the hell?!” One friend, a serial CTO, referred to cissus quadrangularis as the “morning-after pill” for diet after seeing me chase peanut butter ice cream and brownies with it. CQ works.

Ferriss, Timothy (2010-12-08). The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (p. 110).

Resources

SuperCissus Rx by USP Labs (Recommended by Tim in The 4-Hour Body)

Cissus Quadrangularis The Four Hour Body by Tim FerrissIngredients:Each capsule contains: Cissus Quadrangularis stem 800 mg. Other Ingredients: Gelatin, Cellulose.

Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)

Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER) = 6