In has considerably been increased due to its favorable

In the circulation, this hormone exists as oligomers
with low molecular weight (LMW) which is hexamers and high molecular weight
(HMW) that consists of 4-6 trimers. (2 and 3).  Adiponectin
has an effective role in prevention of atherosclerosis through inhibition of
vascular smooth muscle proliferation and also in the pathogenesis of diabetes via
regulation of glucose metabolism, free fatty acids and insulin sensitivity in
epithelial cells (4 and
5).  Although
the mentioned hormone is secreted from adipose tissue, it seems that its plasma
level will decrease with weight gain and increase with weight loss (6).

    Currently,
medicinal plants have been used widely for prevention and treatment of various diseases.
Due to the increase in incidence rate of gastrointestinal diseases and obesity
in modern society and the growing administration of synthetic drugs with adverse
effects, doctors and pharmacists’ tendency to use traditional and herbal
medicines with lower side effects is increasing (7 & 8).

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     Use of
medications and supplements containing ephedra extract has considerably been
increased due to its favorable properties including performance-enhancing activity,
fat-burning, anti-allergic, decongestants, and antibacterial and weight loss.  Ephedra has one genus and more than forty
species that are scattered in different parts of the globe (9). Ephedra
Pachyclada belongs to Ephedraceae family and is a shrub with
green, articulated, hyperbranched stems and is usually vertical. Ephedra
Pachyclada grows in arid and semi-arid climate, especially in desert areas
and southern rocky mountains in Iran which are locally known as Hoom and Ermek.
 

     The
popularity of the plants of Ephedraceae family is due to their abundant
ephedrine alkaloids content among which ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are the
most important ones (10).
This
plant has many health benefits and has been used in traditional medicine of East
Asia for treatment respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, asthma and
allergies for thousands of years (10, 11 and 12).  Furthermore,
Ephedra has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic and sympathomimetic
effects (13, 14).

     According
to multiple reports on the effectiveness of the herb of Ephedra Pachyclada on
hormones affecting appetite, such as leptin, ghrelin and neuropeptide Y (15 and
16), this
study addressed the effects of this plant on serum levels of another important
hormone for the body weight control i.e.  adiponectin.  By identification of the precise mechanisms of
the plant, the results of our study can help prevent overweight and obesity. 

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