Herbal Formula HT048 Attenuates Diet-Induced Obesity by Improving Hepatic Lipid Metabolism and Insulin Resistance in Obese Rats
It is well established that obesity causes a variety of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Despite the diligent scientific efforts to find effective ways to lower the level of obesity, the size of obese population grows continuously around the world. Here we present the results that show feeding diet containing HT048, a mixture of the extracts of Crataegus pinnatifida leaves and Citrus unshiu peel, two of the well-known traditional herbal medicines in Eastern Asia, decreases obesity in rats. We fed rats with five different diets for 10 weeks: chow diet (STD), high-fat diet (HFD), high-fat diet with 0.04% orlistat, a drug to treat obesity (HFD + Orlistat), high-fat diet with 0.2% HT048 (w/w; HFD + 0.2% HT048), and high-fat diet with 0.6% HT048 (w/w; HFD + 0.6% HT048). It was found that both body and total white adipose tissue weight of HT048 groups significantly decreased compared to those of the HFD group. Moreover, HT048 decreased serum insulin levels in HFD-fed obese rats. At the molecular level, HT048 supplementation downregulated genes involved in lipogenesis, gluconeogenesis, and adipogenesis, while the expression level of β-oxidation genes was increased. Supplementation-drug interactions are not likely as HFD and HT048-containing diet did not significantly induce genes encoding CYPs. Collectively, this study suggests that HT048 taken as dietary supplement helps to decrease obesity and insulin resistance in HFD-fed obese rats.
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