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J Agric Food Chem. 2015 May 20;63(19):4843-52. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b01246. Epub 2015 May 8.

Carnosic acid as a major bioactive component in rosemary extract ameliorates high-fat-diet-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome in mice.

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Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, 500 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081, United States.


In this study, we investigated the preventive effects of carnosic acid (CA) as a major bioactive component in rosemary extract (RE) on high-fat-diet-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome in mice. The mice were given a low-fat diet, a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet supplemented with either 0.14% or 0.28% (w/w) CA-enriched RE (containing 80% CA, RE#1L and RE#1H), or 0.5% (w/w) RE (containing 45% CA, RE#2), for a period of 16 weeks. There was the same CA content in the RE#1H and RE#2 diets and half of this amount in the RE#1L diet. The dietary RE supplementation significantly reduced body weight gain, percent of fat, plasma ALT, AST, glucose, insulin levels, liver weight, liver triglyceride, and free fatty acid levels in comparison with the mice fed with a HF diet without RE treatment. RE administration also decreased the levels of plasma and liver malondialdehyde, advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and the liver expression of receptor for AGE (RAGE) in comparison with those for mice of the HF group. Histological analyses of liver samples showed decreased lipid accumulation in hepatocytes in mice administrated with RE in comparison with that of HF-diet-fed mice. Meanwhile, RE administration enhanced fecal lipid excretion to inhibit lipid absorption and increased the liver GSH/GSSG ratio to perform antioxidant activity compared with HF group. Our results demonstrate that rosemary is a promising dietary agent to reduce the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.


carnosic acid; high-fat diet; metabolic syndrome; obesity; oxidative stress; rosemary

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