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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jul 10. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700261. [Epub ahead of print]

Cyanidin-3-glucoside increases whole body energy metabolism by upregulating brown adipose tissue mitochondrial function.

You Y1,2,3, Yuan X4, Liu X5,6,7, Liang C2,8, Meng M5, Huang Y5,6, Han X2, Guo J2, Guo Y2, Ren C2, Zhang Q2, Sun X2, Ma T2,9, Liu G3, Jin W5,6, Huang W1,2, Zhan J1,2.

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Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Tsinghua East Road 17, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China.
College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Tsinghua East Road 17, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China.
College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Yuanmingyuan West Road 2, Haidian District, Beijing, 100193, China.
Institute of Infectious Diseases, Beijing Ditan Hospital, Beijing Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100015, China.
Key laboratory of animal ecology and conservation biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.
The University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
Institute of neuroscience and translational medicine, College of life science and agronomy, Zhoukou normal university, Zhoukou, 466001, China.
ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA, 5064, Australia.
College of Food Engineering and Nutritional Science, Shanxi Normal University, Xi'an, 710062, China.



Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure. Promoting brown adipose tissue (BAT) formation and function increases energy expenditure and may protect against obesity. Cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) is an anthocyanin compound which occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. In this study, we investigated the effect and mechanism of C3G on the prevention of obesity.


Db/db mice received C3G dissolved in drinking water for 16 weeks; Drinking water served as the vehicle treatment. The total body weight, energy intake, metabolic rate and physical activity were measured. The lipid droplets, gene expression and protein expression were evaluated by histochemical staining, real-time PCR and western blots. We found that C3G increased energy expenditure, limited weight gain, maintained glucose homeostasis, reversed hepatic steatosis, improved cold tolerance, and enhanced BAT activity in obese db/db mice. C3G also induces brown-like adipocytes (beige) formation in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWAT) of db/db mice model. We also found that C3G potently regulates the transcription of UCP1 both in BAT and sWAT through increasing mitochondrial number and function.


Our results suggest that C3G plays a role in regulating systemic energy balance, which may have potential therapeutic implications for the prevention and control of obesity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Brown adipose tissue; Cyanidin-3-glucoside; Energy metabolism; Mitochondrial function; Obesity

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