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Special Issue "Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Min-Hsiung Pan

Institute of Food Science & Technology, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (ROC)
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cancer chemoprevention; anti-obesity; dietary natural bioactive compounds; anti-inflammation; carcinogenesis
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Filomena Conforti

Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, I-87036 Rende (CS), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: phytochemical compounds; ethnopharmacology; alimurgic plants; biological activity of natural compounds; phytocosmetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Obesity is a kind of state where abnormal or excessive fat accumulates in the body and causes health problem. The risk factors for obesity include genetic and non-genetic factors alike, such as age, physiological condition, dietary behaviors and lifestyle. Since 1980, the number of obese people in the world has doubled. The cause of death from being underweight has shifted to obesity in most countries; moreover, obesity is a major risk factor in some chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, obesity is a serious health problem. To reduce body weight and adiposity, a change in lifestyle habits is still the crucial cornerstone. Physical activity might be helpful in the prevention of obesity by elevating average daily metabolic rate and increased energy expenditure. Unfortunately, this clinical approach is not-long term lasting and weight regain often seen. Drugs that prevent weight regain appear necessary in obesity treatment. Although there are many methods and drugs to help people to fight obesity, or to maintain their body weight in order to prevent obesity, each method or drug has their limitations and side effects.

Recently, natural products are popular in the anti-obesity market. More and more research is interested in finding natural product/compounds from dietary or herbal plants that prevent or control obesity via a chemopreventive strategy. Many dietary compounds isolated from fruits, vegetables, and edible plants, such as anthocyanins from blueberries, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea, nobiletin from citrus peel, and curcumin from turmeric, have been reported for their anti-obesity ability in vivo or in vitro. These natural compounds can decrease fat accumulation through inhibiting adipocyte differentiation, adipogenesis, decreasing triacylglycerol level in high-fat-diet-induced obesity animal models by enhancing lipolysis or reducing lipogenesis pathways.

Research articles or reviews covering all kinds of natural compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, terpenoids, tannins, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, or derivatives, and their possible mechanisms for reducing fat accumulation or helping to control obesity are welcomed for inclusion in this Special Issue of Molecules.

Prof. Dr. Min-Hsiung Pan
Prof. Dr. Filomena Conforti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • natural product
  • obesity
  • energy balance
  • lipogenesis
  • high fat diet
  • triacylglycerol

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1750; doi:10.3390/molecules21121750
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 17 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is regulated by genetic, endocrine, metabolic, neurological, pharmacological, environmental, and nutritional factors. [...]
Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)

Research

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Open AccessArticle CST, an Herbal Formula, Exerts Anti-Obesity Effects through Brain-Gut-Adipose Tissue Axis Modulation in High-Fat Diet Fed Mice
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1522; doi:10.3390/molecules21111522
Received: 7 September 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 11 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The brain, gut, and adipose tissue interact to control metabolic pathways, and impairment in the brain-gut-adipose axis can lead to metabolic disorders, including obesity. Chowiseungcheng-tang (CST), a herbal formulation, is frequently used to treat metabolic disorders. Here, we investigated the anti-obesity effect of
[...] Read more.
The brain, gut, and adipose tissue interact to control metabolic pathways, and impairment in the brain-gut-adipose axis can lead to metabolic disorders, including obesity. Chowiseungcheng-tang (CST), a herbal formulation, is frequently used to treat metabolic disorders. Here, we investigated the anti-obesity effect of CST and its link with brain-gut-adipose axis using C57BL/6J mice as a model. The animals were provided with a normal research diet (NRD) or high-fat diet (HFD) in absence or presence of CST or orlistat (ORL) for 12 weeks. CST had a significant anti-obesity effect on a number of vital metabolic and obesity-related parameters in HFD-fed mice. CST significantly decreased the expression levels of genes encoding obesity-promoting neuropeptides (agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y), and increased the mRNA levels of obesity-suppressing neuropeptides (proopiomelanocortin, cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript) in the hypothalamus. CST also effectively decreased the expression level of gene encoding obesity-promoting adipokine (retinol-binding protein-4) and increased the mRNA level of obesity-suppressing adipokine (adiponectin) in visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Additionally, CST altered the gut microbial composition in HFD groups, a phenomenon strongly associated with key metabolic parameters, neuropeptides, and adipokines. Our findings reveal that the anti-obesity impact of CST is mediated through modulation of metabolism-related neuropeptides, adipokines, and gut microbial composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Piceatannol Exerts Anti-Obesity Effects in C57BL/6 Mice through Modulating Adipogenic Proteins and Gut Microbiota
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1419; doi:10.3390/molecules21111419
Received: 10 September 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is a global health concern. Piceatannol (Pic), an analog of resveratrol (Res), has many reported biological activities. In this study, we investigated the anti-obesity effect of Pic in a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese animal model. The results showed that Pic significantly reduced
[...] Read more.
Obesity is a global health concern. Piceatannol (Pic), an analog of resveratrol (Res), has many reported biological activities. In this study, we investigated the anti-obesity effect of Pic in a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese animal model. The results showed that Pic significantly reduced mouse body weight in a dose-dependent manner without affecting food intake. Serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, and blood glucose (GLU) were significantly lowered in Pic-treated groups. Pic significantly decreased the weight of liver, spleen, perigonadal and retroperitoneal fat compared with the HFD group. Pic significantly reduced the adipocyte cell size of perigonadal fat and decreased the weight of liver. Pic-treated mice showed higher phosphorylated adenosine 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) and phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase (pACC) protein levels and decreased protein levels of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein C/EBPα, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor PPARγ and fatty acid synthase (FAS), resulting in decreased lipid accumulation in adipocytes and the liver. Pic altered the composition of the gut microbiota by increasing Firmicutes and Lactobacillus and decreasing Bacteroidetes compared with the HFD group. Collectively, these results suggest that Pic may be a candidate for obesity treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Herbal Formula HT048 Attenuates Diet-Induced Obesity by Improving Hepatic Lipid Metabolism and Insulin Resistance in Obese Rats
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1424; doi:10.3390/molecules21111424
Received: 19 August 2016 / Revised: 7 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1703 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is well established that obesity causes a variety of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Despite the diligent scientific efforts to find effective ways to lower the level of obesity, the size of obese population grows continuously around the world.
[...] Read more.
It is well established that obesity causes a variety of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Despite the diligent scientific efforts to find effective ways to lower the level of obesity, the size of obese population grows continuously around the world. Here we present the results that show feeding diet containing HT048, a mixture of the extracts of Crataegus pinnatifida leaves and Citrus unshiu peel, two of the well-known traditional herbal medicines in Eastern Asia, decreases obesity in rats. We fed rats with five different diets for 10 weeks: chow diet (STD), high-fat diet (HFD), high-fat diet with 0.04% orlistat, a drug to treat obesity (HFD + Orlistat), high-fat diet with 0.2% HT048 (w/w; HFD + 0.2% HT048), and high-fat diet with 0.6% HT048 (w/w; HFD + 0.6% HT048). It was found that both body and total white adipose tissue weight of HT048 groups significantly decreased compared to those of the HFD group. Moreover, HT048 decreased serum insulin levels in HFD-fed obese rats. At the molecular level, HT048 supplementation downregulated genes involved in lipogenesis, gluconeogenesis, and adipogenesis, while the expression level of β-oxidation genes was increased. Supplementation-drug interactions are not likely as HFD and HT048-containing diet did not significantly induce genes encoding CYPs. Collectively, this study suggests that HT048 taken as dietary supplement helps to decrease obesity and insulin resistance in HFD-fed obese rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Transcriptome Profile Reveals that Pu-Erh Tea Represses the Expression of Vitellogenin Family to Reduce Fat Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1379; doi:10.3390/molecules21101379
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 4 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 17 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Due to misbalanced energy surplus and expenditure, obesity has become a common chronic disorder that is highly associated with many metabolic diseases. Pu-erh tea, a traditional Chinese beverage, has been believed to have numerous health benefits, such as anti-obesity. However, the underlying mechanisms
[...] Read more.
Due to misbalanced energy surplus and expenditure, obesity has become a common chronic disorder that is highly associated with many metabolic diseases. Pu-erh tea, a traditional Chinese beverage, has been believed to have numerous health benefits, such as anti-obesity. However, the underlying mechanisms of its anti-obesity effect are yet to be understood. Here, we take the advantages of transcriptional profile by RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to view the global gene expression of Pu-erh tea. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was treated with different concentrations of Pu-erh tea water extract (PTE, 0 g/mL, 0.025 g/mL, and 0.05 g/mL). Compared with the control, PTE indeed decreases lipid droplets size and fat accumulation. The high-throughput RNA-Sequence technique detected 18073 and 18105 genes expressed in 0.025 g/mL and 0.05 g/mL PTE treated groups, respectively. Interestingly, the expression of the vitellogenin family (vit-1, vit-2, vit-3, vit-4 and vit-5) was significantly decreased by PTE, which was validated by qPCR analysis. Furthermore, vit-1(ok2616), vit-3(ok2348) and vit-5(ok3239) mutants are insensitive to PTE triggered fat reduction. In conclusion, our transcriptional profile by RNA-Sequence suggests that Pu-erh tea lowers the fat accumulation primarily through repression of the expression of vit(vitellogenin) family, in addition to our previously reported (sterol regulatory element binding protein) SREBP-SCD (stearoyl-CoA desaturase) axis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Efficacy of Acetylshikonin in Preventing Obesity and Hepatic Steatosis in db/db Mice
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 976; doi:10.3390/molecules21080976
Received: 24 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2753 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Zicao (Lithospermum erythrorhizon) has been used in clinics as a traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Acetylshikonin (AS) is the main ingredient of Zicao, Xinjiang, China. The objective of this study was to investigate the anti-obesity and anti-nonalcoholic fatty liver
[...] Read more.
Zicao (Lithospermum erythrorhizon) has been used in clinics as a traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Acetylshikonin (AS) is the main ingredient of Zicao, Xinjiang, China. The objective of this study was to investigate the anti-obesity and anti-nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) efficacy of AS in a model of spontaneous obese db/db mice. Mice were divided into Wild Type (WT) groups and db/db groups, which received no treatment or treatment with 100 mg/kg/day clenbuterol (CL) hydrochloride or 540 mg/kg/day AS by oral gavage for eight weeks. The results provided the evidence that AS prevented obesity and NAFLD including reduction in body weight, food efficiency ratio, serum triglyceride (TG) and free fatty acid (FFA) levels in db/db mice. Administration of AS markedly suppressed the levels of hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and pro-inflammatory cytokines in treated groups when compared with that of db/db groups. Further investigation of the lipid synthesis-related protein using Western blotting revealed that hepatic protein expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1), fatty acid synthetase (FAS) and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) were significantly downregulated by AS treatment. These findings suggest that AS exerts anti-obesity and anti-NAFLD effects through the regulation of lipid metabolism and anti-inflammatory effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle Trans-Fatty Acids Aggravate Obesity, Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Steatosis in C57BL/6 Mice, Possibly by Suppressing the IRS1 Dependent Pathway
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 705; doi:10.3390/molecules21060705
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 May 2016 / Published: 30 May 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trans-fatty acid consumption has been reported as a risk factor for metabolic disorders and targeted organ damages. Nonetheless, little is known about the roles and mechanisms of trans-fatty acids in obesity, insulin resistance (IR) and hepatic steatosis. Adult C57BL/6 male mice
[...] Read more.
Trans-fatty acid consumption has been reported as a risk factor for metabolic disorders and targeted organ damages. Nonetheless, little is known about the roles and mechanisms of trans-fatty acids in obesity, insulin resistance (IR) and hepatic steatosis. Adult C57BL/6 male mice were fed with four different diets for 20 weeks: normal diet (ND), high fat diet (HFD), low trans-fatty acids diet (LTD) and high trans-fatty acid diet (HTD). The diet-induced metabolic disorders were assessed by evaluating body weight, glucose tolerance test, hepatic steatosis and plasma lipid profiles post 20-week diet. Histological (H&E, Oil-Red-O) staining and western blot analysis were employed to assess liver steatosis and potential signaling pathways. After 20-weeks of diet, the body weights of the four groups were 29.61 ± 1.89 g (ND), 39.04 ± 4.27 g (HFD), 34.09 ± 2.62 g (LTD) and 43.78 ± 4.27 g (HTD) (p < 0.05), respectively. HFD intake significantly impaired glucose tolerance, which was impaired further in the mice consuming the HTD diet. The effect was further exacerbated by HTD diet. Moreover, the HTD group exhibited significantly more severe liver steatosis compared with HFD group possibly through regulating adipose triglyceride lipase. The group consuming the HTD also exhibited significantly reduced levels of IRS1, phosphor-PKC and phosphor-AKT. These results support our hypothesis that consumption of a diet high in trans-fatty acids induces higher rates of obesity, IR and hepatic steatosis in male C57BL/6 mice, possibly by suppressing the IRS1dependent pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
Open AccessArticle Anti-Obesity and Hypoglycemic Effects of Poncirus trifoliata L. Extracts in High-Fat Diet C57BL/6 Mice
Molecules 2016, 21(4), 453; doi:10.3390/molecules21040453
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 30 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study investigated the possible anti-obesity and hypoglycemic effects of Poncirus trifoliata L. extracts. Mature fruit were divided into flavedo (PF) and juice sacs (PJ), and extracts from them were tested on C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for thirteen weeks.
[...] Read more.
The present study investigated the possible anti-obesity and hypoglycemic effects of Poncirus trifoliata L. extracts. Mature fruit were divided into flavedo (PF) and juice sacs (PJ), and extracts from them were tested on C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for thirteen weeks. Both fruit extracts (40 mg/kg body weight, respectively) showed anti-obesity and hypoglycemic effects. Consumption of PF and PJ extracts reduced body weight by 9.21% and 20.27%, respectively. Liver and adipose weights, fasting glucose, serum triglyceride (TG), and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) levels decreased significantly, while serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and oral glucose tolerance levels increased significantly in response to two fruit extracts. These effects were due in part to the modulation of serum insulin, leptin, and adiponectin. Furthermore, transcript levels of fatty acid synthase (FAS) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) were reduced while those of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1α (CPT1α) and insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) were increased in the liver of C57BL/6 mice, which might be an important mechanism affecting lipid and glucose metabolism. Taken together, P. trifoliata fruit can be potentially used to prevent or treat obesity and associated metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction by Black Tea Polyphenols
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1659; doi:10.3390/molecules21121659
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is one of the most common nutritional diseases worldwide. This disease causes health problems, such as dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension and inflammation. There are drugs used to inhibit obesity. However, they have serious side effects outweighing their beneficial effects. Black tea, commonly referred
[...] Read more.
Obesity is one of the most common nutritional diseases worldwide. This disease causes health problems, such as dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension and inflammation. There are drugs used to inhibit obesity. However, they have serious side effects outweighing their beneficial effects. Black tea, commonly referred to as “fermented tea”, has shown a positive effect on reducing body weight in animal models. Black tea polyphenols are the major components in black tea which reduce body weight. Black tea polyphenols are more effective than green tea polyphenols. Black tea polyphenols exert a positive effect on inhibiting obesity involving in two major mechanisms: (i) inhibiting lipid and saccharide digestion, absorption and intake, thus reducing calorie intake; and (ii) promoting lipid metabolism by activating AMP-activated protein kinase to attenuate lipogenesis and enhance lipolysis, and decreasing lipid accumulation by inhibiting the differentiation and proliferation of preadipocytes; (iii) blocking the pathological processes of obesity and comorbidities of obesity by reducing oxidative stress. Epidemiological studies of the health relevance between anti-obesity and black tea polyphenols consumption remain to be further investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessReview 4-Hydroxyisoleucine from Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Effects on Insulin Resistance Associated with Obesity
Molecules 2016, 21(11), 1596; doi:10.3390/molecules21111596
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity and insulin resistance (IR) are interdependent multifactorial processes that cannot be understood separately. Obesity leads to systemic inflammation and increased levels of free fatty acids that provoke IR and lipotoxicity. At the same time, IR exacerbates adipose cell dysfunction, resulting in chronic
[...] Read more.
Obesity and insulin resistance (IR) are interdependent multifactorial processes that cannot be understood separately. Obesity leads to systemic inflammation and increased levels of free fatty acids that provoke IR and lipotoxicity. At the same time, IR exacerbates adipose cell dysfunction, resulting in chronic inflammation and major lipotoxic effects on nonadipose tissues. 4-Hydroxyisoleucine (4-OHIle), a peculiar nonprotein amino acid isolated from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seeds, exhibits interesting effects on IR related to obesity. 4-OHIle increases glucose-induced insulin release, and the insulin response mediated by 4-OHIle depends on glucose concentration. The beneficial effects observed are related to the regulation of blood glucose, plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol, free fatty acid levels, and the improvement of liver function. The mechanism of action is related to increased Akt phosphorylation and reduced activation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)1/2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and nuclear factor (NF)-κB. Here, we present a review of the research regarding the insulinotropic and insulin-sensitising activity of 4-OHIle in in vitro and in vivo models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessReview Effects of Saponins on Lipid Metabolism: A Review of Potential Health Benefits in the Treatment of Obesity
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1404; doi:10.3390/molecules21101404
Received: 3 August 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is one of the greatest public health problems. This complex condition has reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the world, and it constitutes a risk factor for several chronic disorders, such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. In the
[...] Read more.
Obesity is one of the greatest public health problems. This complex condition has reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the world, and it constitutes a risk factor for several chronic disorders, such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. In the last few decades, several studies dealt with the potential effects of natural products as new safe and effective tools for body weight control. Saponins are naturally-occurring surface-active glycosides, mainly produced by plants, whose structure consists of a sugar moiety linked to a hydrophobic aglycone (a steroid or a triterpene). Many pharmacological properties have been reported for these compounds, such as anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, antifungal and cytotoxic activities. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of recent studies about the anti-obesity therapeutic potential of saponins isolated from medicinal plants. Results on the in vitro and in vivo activity of this class of phytochemicals are here presented and discussed. The most interesting findings about their possible mechanism of action and their potential health benefits in the treatment of obesity are reported, as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessReview Natural Dietary and Herbal Products in Anti-Obesity Treatment
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1351; doi:10.3390/molecules21101351
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 2 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 October 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is on the rise around the world. Common comorbidities associated with obesity, particularly diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease have an impact on social and financial systems. Appropriate lifestyle and behavior interventions are still the crucial cornerstone to
[...] Read more.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is on the rise around the world. Common comorbidities associated with obesity, particularly diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease have an impact on social and financial systems. Appropriate lifestyle and behavior interventions are still the crucial cornerstone to weight loss success, but maintaining such a healthy lifestyle is extremely challenging. Abundant natural materials have been explored for their obesity treatment potential and widely used to promote the development of anti-obesity products. The weight loss segment is one of the major contributors to the overall revenue of the dietary supplements market. In this review, the anti-obesity effects of different dietary or herbal products, and their active ingredients and mechanisms of action against obesity will be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
Open AccessReview Beneficial Effects of Tea and the Green Tea Catechin Epigallocatechin-3-gallate on Obesity
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1305; doi:10.3390/molecules21101305
Received: 15 August 2016 / Revised: 22 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green tea has been shown to have beneficial effects against cancer, obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections, and dental caries. The catechin (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has shown the highest biological activity among green tea catechins (GTCs) in most of the studies. While several
[...] Read more.
Green tea has been shown to have beneficial effects against cancer, obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections, and dental caries. The catechin (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has shown the highest biological activity among green tea catechins (GTCs) in most of the studies. While several epidemiological studies have shown the beneficial effects of tea and GTCs on obesity, some studies have failed to do this. In addition, a large number of interventional clinical studies have shown these favorable effects, and cellular and animal experiments have supported those findings, and revealed the underlying anti-obesity mechanisms. One of the mechanisms is enhanced cellular production of reactive oxygen species, which is mediated through the pro-oxidant action of EGCG, leading to the activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, which suppresses gene and protein expression of enzymes and transcription factors involved in adipogenesis and lipogenesis, and stimulates those involved in lipolysis. Recently, scientific evidence supporting the beneficial anti-obesity effects of green tea and GTCs has been increasing. However, future investigations are still required to clarify the reasons for the inconsistent results reported in the human studies; to achieve this, careful adjustment of confounding factors will be required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessReview Potential of Natural Products in the Inhibition of Adipogenesis through Regulation of PPARγ Expression and/or Its Transcriptional Activity
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1278; doi:10.3390/molecules21101278
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is a global health problem characterized as an increase in the mass of adipose tissue. Adipogenesis is one of the key pathways that increases the mass of adipose tissue, by which preadipocytes mature into adipocytes through cell differentiation. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ
[...] Read more.
Obesity is a global health problem characterized as an increase in the mass of adipose tissue. Adipogenesis is one of the key pathways that increases the mass of adipose tissue, by which preadipocytes mature into adipocytes through cell differentiation. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), the chief regulator of adipogenesis, has been acutely investigated as a molecular target for natural products in the development of anti-obesity treatments. In this review, the regulation of PPARγ expression by natural products through inhibition of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) and the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), increased expression of GATA-2 and GATA-3 and activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were analyzed. Furthermore, the regulation of PPARγ transcriptional activity associated with natural products through the antagonism of PPARγ and activation of Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) were discussed. Lastly, regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) by natural products, which might regulate both PPARγ expression and PPARγ transcriptional activity, was summarized. Understanding the role natural products play, as well as the mechanisms behind their regulation of PPARγ activity is critical for future research into their therapeutic potential for fighting obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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Open AccessReview Regulation of Obesity and Metabolic Complications by Gamma and Delta Tocotrienols
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 344; doi:10.3390/molecules21030344
Received: 16 February 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 March 2016 / Published: 11 March 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tocotrienols (T3s) are a subclass of unsaturated vitamin E that have been extensively studied for their anti-proliferative, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in numerous cancer studies. Recently, T3s have received increasing attention due to their previously unrecognized property to attenuate obesity and its associated
[...] Read more.
Tocotrienols (T3s) are a subclass of unsaturated vitamin E that have been extensively studied for their anti-proliferative, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in numerous cancer studies. Recently, T3s have received increasing attention due to their previously unrecognized property to attenuate obesity and its associated metabolic complications. In this review, we comprehensively evaluated the recent published scientific literature about the influence of T3s on obesity, with a particular emphasis on the signaling pathways involved. T3s have been demonstrated in animal models or human subjects to reduce fat mass, body weight, plasma concentrations of free fatty acid, triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as to improve glucose and insulin tolerance. Their mechanisms of action in adipose tissue mainly include (1) modulation of fat cell adipogenesis and differentiation; (2) modulation of energy sensing; (3) induction of apoptosis in preadipocytes and (4) modulation of inflammation. Studies have also been conducted to investigate the effects of T3s on other targets, e.g., the immune system, liver, muscle, pancreas and bone. Since δT3 and γT3 are regarded as the most active isomers among T3s, their clinical relevance to reduce obesity should be investigated in human trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Anti-Obesity Therapy)
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