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Herbal extract THI improves metabolic abnormality in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Department of Biological Science, Sookmyung Women's University, Cheongpa-ro 47-gil 100, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-742, Korea.
Nutrition research and practice (Impact Factor: 0.97). 06/2011; 5(3):198-204. DOI: 10.4162/nrp.2011.5.3.198
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Target herbal ingredient (THI) is an extract made from two herbs, Scutellariae Radix and Platycodi Radix. It has been developed as a treatment for metabolic diseases such as hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and hypertension. One component of these two herbs has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperlipidemic, and anti-obesity activities. However, there have been no reports about the effects of the mixed extract of these two herbs on metabolic diseases. In this study, we investigated the metabolic effects of THI using a diet-induced obesity (DIO) mouse model. High-fat diet (HFD) mice were orally administered daily with 250 mg/kg of THI. After 10 weeks of treatment, the THI-administered HFD mice showed reduction of body weights and epididymal white adipose tissue weights as well as improved glucose tolerance. In addition, the level of total cholesterol in the serum was markedly reduced. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of the metabolic effects of THI in vitro, 3T3-L1 cells were treated with THI, after which the mRNA levels of adipogenic transcription factors, including C/EBPα and PPARγ, were measured. The results show that the expression of these two transcription factors was down regulated by THI in a dose-dependent manner. We also examined the combinatorial effects of THI and swimming exercise on metabolic status. THI administration simultaneously accompanied by swimming exercise had a synergistic effect on serum cholesterol levels. These findings suggest that THI could be developed as a supplement for improving metabolic status.

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