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Open Access Research article

Weight loss herbal intervention therapy (W-LHIT) a non-appetite suppressing natural product controls weight and lowers cholesterol and glucose levels in a murine model

Nan Yang1, Danna Chung2, Changda Liu1, Banghao Liang1 and Xiu-Min Li1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA

2 Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:261  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-261

Published: 23 July 2014

Abstract

Background

The prevalence of obesity is increasing in industrialized countries. Obesity increases the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension, and type-2 diabetes. Unfortunately, conventional obesity drug treatment is often associated with adverse effects. The objective of this study was to evaluate a novel natural formula, Weight loss herbal intervention therapy (W-LHIT), developed from traditional Chinese medicine, for weight control in a high-fat-diet (HFD) induced obesity murine model.

Methods

Two sets of experiments were performed. In experiment 1, 14-week-old C57BL/6 J male mice were fed with HFD for 21days and then separated into 3 weight-matched groups. One group continued on the HFD as obese-controls. Two groups were switched from HFD to normal fat level diet (NFD) and sham or W-LHIT treated. In experiment 2, 25-week-old obese mice, following 2weeks acclimatization, received either W-LHIT or sham treatment while maintained on HFD. In both sets of experiments, NFD fed, age matched normal weight mice served as normal controls. Body weight and food intake were recorded. Epididymal fat pad weight, serum glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as PPARγ and FABP4 gene expression in epididymal fat tissue were analyzed at the end of the experiment.

Results

In experiment 1, W-LHIT treated obese mice lost body weight 12.2 ± 3.8% whereas sham treated mice lost 5.5 ± 2.8% by day 10 after switching from the HFD to the NFD, without reduction of chow consumption. In experiment 2, W-LHIT treated obese mice maintained on the HFD had significantly lower body weight (8 fold less) than the sham treated mice. W-LHIT treatment also reduced epididymal fat pad weight, blood cholesterol and glucose levels versus sham treated mice without reduced chow consumption. In addition, significantly increased PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ) and FABP4 (fatty acid binding protein 4) gene expression were found in epdidymal fat tissues. Liver and kidney function and hematology testing results of W-LHIT treated mice were within the normal range.

Conclusions

W-LHIT significantly and safely reduced body weight, normalized glucose and cholesterol levels in obese mice, without suppression of appetite, and increased adipocyte PPARγ and FABP4 gene expression.

Keywords:
Obesity; C57BL/6 J; High fat diet; W-LHIT natural product; Weight loss; Serum glucose; Cholesterol; PPARγ