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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:272710. doi: 10.1155/2012/272710. Epub 2012 May 27.

The crude extract from puerariae flower exerts antiobesity and antifatty liver effects in high-fat diet-induced obese mice.

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Research and Development Division, Toyo Shinyaku Co. Ltd., 7-28 Yayoigaoka, Tosu-shi, Saga 841-0005, Japan.


Kudzu, a leguminous plant, has long been used in folk medicine. In particular, its flowers are used in Japanese and Chinese folk medicine for treating hangovers. We focused on the flower of Kudzu (Puerariae thomsonii), and we previously reported the antiobesity effect of Puerariae thomsonii flower extract (PFE) in humans. In this study, we conducted an animal study to investigate the effect of PFE on visceral fat and hepatic lipid levels in mice with diet-induced obesity. In addition, we focused on gene expression profiles to investigate the antiobesity mechanism of PFE. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or an HFD supplemented with 5% PFE for 14 days. PFE supplementation significantly reduced body weight and white adipose tissue (WAT) weight. Moreover, in the histological analysis, PFE supplementation improved fatty liver. Hepatic reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed that PFE supplementation downregulated acetyl-CoA carboxylase expression. For adipose tissue, the expressions of hormone-sensitive lipase in WAT and uncoupling protein 1 in brown adipose tissue (BAT) were significantly upregulated. These results suggest that PFE exerts antiobesity and antifatty liver effects in high-fat diet-induced obese mice through suppressing lipogenesis in the liver, stimulating lipolysis in WAT, and promoting thermogenesis in BAT.

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