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Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(12):1255-9. Epub 2007 Sep 24.

Constituents from the leaves of Nelumbo nucifera stimulate lipolysis in the white adipose tissue of mice.

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KIRIN Brewery Co., Ltd., Central Laboratories for Frontier Technology, Kanagawa, Japan.


Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaceae) has been used for various medicinal purposes as in Chinese herbal medicine. In particular, the leaves are known for diuretic and astringent properties, and are used to treat obesity. During our search for a plant-derived anti-obesity agent from natural products, we have found that a 50% ethanol (EtOH) extract prepared from the leaves of N. nucifera (NN) stimulated lipolysis in the white adipose tissue (WAT) of mice and that the beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) pathway was involved in this effect. In subsequent experiments, dietary supplementation of NN resulted in a significant suppression of body weight gain in A/J mice fed a high-fat diet. Bioassay-guided fractionation and repeated chromatography of NN has led to the isolation and identification of quercetin 3-O-alpha-arabinopyranosyl-(1-->2)-beta-galactopyranoside (1), rutin (2), (+)-catechin (3), hyperoside (4), isoquercitrin (5), quercetin (6) and astragalin (7). Of these, compounds 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 exhibited lipolytic activity, especially in visceral adipose tissue. Our results indicate that the effects of NN in preventing diet-induced obesity appear to be due to various flavonoids and that the activation of beta-AR pathway was involved, at least in part.

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