Tropical plant native to China reveals great potential in the fight against obesity

Obesity as a major risk factor for various diseases lifestyle-related, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, has become widespread throughout the world and requires integral innovative solutions to combat it. Losing weight without diet, exercise and maintaining mental health is difficult, almost impossible.

However, researchers around the world do not stop looking for newnew advances in the fight against obesity, a problem that affects more than 4,000 million people worldwide and creates an unsustainable medical and economic burden.

Miracle products, smoothies, bars, infusions and pills from extra pounds fill the shelves of supermarkets around the world, including pharmacies. However, not everyone gives the promised results and while most are harmless products that end up in the trash can, others may have some health side effects.

Therefore, the search for a protective substance against obesity and elucidation of its molecular mechanism is one of the most important problems in improving human health. That was the goal interagency study led by Associate Professor Akiko Kojima from the Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology, Osaka Metropolitan University (Japan), who has made significant progress in the fight against obesity.

This study investigated the anti-obesity effects of Mallotus furetianus extract (MFE). The group had previously conducted a study on the effects of MFE extract, a tropical plant native to Hainan Island, China, for the prevention of fatty liver diseaseor, but the anti-obesity effects and their mechanisms are still not elucidated.

Using an obese mouse model, the researchers set out to test the anti-obesity effects of the MFE extract, and the results were remarkable. MFE treatment significantly suppressed an increase in body weight and adipose tissue mass, and also demonstrated morphological changes in the liver and adipose tissue of mice with an obesity model. Subsequent mechanistic studies have shown that fat synthesis is inhibited by suppressing the expression of several transcription factors involved in adipocyte differentiation.

“Our research team is looking for food ingredients with anti-obesity effectbased on the idea that if we can find them and include them in our daily diet, we can contribute to the health and longevity of people,” said Professor Kojima.

“These results not only suggest relationship between Mallotus furetianus extract and anti-obesity effectsbut also point to its potential as a novel food ingredient with anti-obesity properties,” concluded the researcher, who has just published his findings in the journal Food Science & Nutrition.

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