Extracts of a tropical plant counteract the increase in body weight and weight of adipose tissue, as well as the development of obesity. This finding could represent a breakthrough in the fight against the global obesity epidemic.
In a new study involving experts from Osaka City University (Japan), the effect of an extract of Mallotus furetianus on the so-called lipid synthesis and body weight was examined. The results are published in the journal “Food Science & Nutrition”.
Effect against obesity
The researchers analyzed the effect of the extract from Mallotus furetianus, a tropical plant native to the island of Hainan in China, on cell cultures and mice.
For this purpose, the mice were divided into four groups: one with a high-fat diet, one with a high-fat diet plus Mallotus furetianus extract and two further control groups with a normal diet or normal diet plus Mallotus furetianus.
A general increase in body weight was observed in mice fed a high-fat diet. However, the body weights of the mice fed the high-fat diet plus Mallotus furetianus extract were significantly lower than the body weights of the mice fed only the high-fat diet, the researchers report
The plant extract can inhibit the increase in body weight and adipose tissue weight, and the treatment also led to morphological changes in the animals’ liver and adipose tissue, experts said.
Laboratory studies have shown that fat synthesis was inhibited by suppressing the expression of several transcription factors. The affected transcription factors are involved in the differentiation of adipocytes, i.e. cells of adipose tissue.
Mallotus furetianus as an ingredient in food?
“Our research group is looking for food ingredients that are effective against obesity because we believe that if we can find them and incorporate them into our daily diet, we can contribute to people’s health and longevity,” study author Professor Akiko Kojima said in a statement press release.
They believe the new study results not only indicate the extract’s anti-obesity effects, but also the potential of Mallotus furetianus as an ingredient in foods with anti-obesity properties that could help fight the global obesity epidemic. (as)