The herbal composition GGEx18 from Laminaria japonica, Rheum palmatum, and Ephedra sinica reduces obesity via skeletal muscle AMPK and PPARα.
ABSTRACT Since AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation in skeletal muscle of obese rodents stimulates fatty acid oxidation, it is reasonable to hypothesize that pharmacological activation of AMPK might be of therapeutic benefit in obesity.
To investigate the effects of the traditional Korean anti-obesity drug GGEx18, a mixture of three herbs, Laminaria japonica Aresch (Laminariaceae), Rheum palmatum L. (Polygonaceae), and Ephedra sinica Stapf (Ephedraceae), on obesity and the involvement of AMPK in this process.
After high fat diet-induced obese mice were treated with GGEx18, we studied the effects of GGEx18 on body weight, fat mass, skeletal muscle lipid accumulation, and the expressions of AMPK, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ά (PPARα), and PPARα target genes. The effects of GGEx18 and/or the AMPK inhibitor compound C on lipid accumulation and expression of the above genes were measured in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.
Administration of GGEx18 to obese mice for 9 weeks significantly (p < 0.05) decreased body and adipose tissue weights compared with obese control mice (p < 0.05). Lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle was inhibited by GGEx18. GGEx18 significantly (p < 0.05) increased skeletal muscle mRNA levels of AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 as well as PPARα and its target genes. Consistent with the in vivo data, GGEx18 inhibited lipid accumulation, and similar activation of genes was observed in GGEx18-treated C2C12 cells. However, compound C inhibited these effects in C2C12 cells.
These results suggest that GGEx18 improves obesity through skeletal muscle AMPK and AMPK-stimulated expression of PPARα and its target enzymes for fatty acid oxidation.
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ABSTRACT: Dietary supplements that contain ephedra alkaloids (sometimes called ma huang) are widely promoted and used in the United States as a means of losing weight and increasing energy. In the light of recently reported adverse events related to use of these products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed limits on the dose and duration of use of such supplements. The FDA requested an independent review of reports of adverse events related to the use of supplements that contained ephedra alkaloids to assess causation and to estimate the level of risk the use of these supplements poses to consumers. We reviewed 140 reports of adverse events related to the use of dietary supplements containing ephedra alkaloids that were submitted to the FDA between June 1, 1997, and March 31, 1999. A standardized rating system for assessing causation was applied to each adverse event. Thirty-one percent of cases were considered to be definitely or probably related to the use of supplements containing ephedra alkaloids, and 31 percent were deemed to be possibly related. Among the adverse events that were deemed definitely, probably, or possibly related to the use of supplements containing ephedra alkaloids, 47 percent involved cardiovascular symptoms and 18 percent involved the central nervous system. Hypertension was the single most frequent adverse effect (17 reports), followed by palpitations, tachycardia, or both (13); stroke (10); and seizures (7). Ten events resulted in death, and 13 events produced permanent disability, representing 26 percent of the definite, probable, and possible cases. The use of dietary supplements that contain ephedra alkaloids may pose a health risk to some persons. These findings indicate the need for a better understanding of individual susceptibility to the adverse effects of such dietary supplements.New England Journal of Medicine 01/2001; 343(25):1833-8. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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