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J Nat Med. 2012 Jul;66(3):459-67. doi: 10.1007/s11418-011-0606-y. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Preventive effect of Terminalia bellirica on obesity and metabolic disorders in spontaneously obese type 2 diabetic model mice.

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Musashino University, 1-1-20 Shinmachi, Nishitokyo, Tokyo 202-8585, Japan.


Visceral obesity induces insulin resistance and is recognized as an important risk factor for metabolic syndrome (MS). Therefore, inhibition of lipid absorption from the intestine is regarded as an effective way of preventing MS. Terminalia bellirica is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine in India and neighboring countries, and the fruit of this plant has been reported to have hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. In this study, we investigated the preventive effect of a hot water extract of T. bellirica fruit (TB) on obesity and various metabolic disorders, and explored its molecular mechanisms and active ingredients. TB treatment had a preventive effect on obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia in spontaneously obese type 2 diabetic TSOD mice. To clarify the molecular mechanisms of TB in preventing obesity, we investigated the inhibitory effect on lipid absorption. TB suppressed absorption of triacylglycerol in an olive oil loading test (in vivo) and showed a strong inhibitory effect on pancreatic lipase activity (in vitro). Furthermore, a search for the active ingredients in TB revealed that gallic acid is the component primarily responsible for the inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity. Thus, our findings indicate that TB could be useful in preventing MS. The mechanisms probably involve suppression of the absorption of meal-derived lipids mediated by gallic acid.

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