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Extract from roots of Morus alba (white mulberry) can treat metabolic syndrome


In this study, American and South Korean researchers isolated cannabinoid (CB1) receptor antagonists that can suppress the appetite from Morus alba. Their findings regarding the compounds’ anti-obesity effects were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • The prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly worldwide, making the disease a global health burden with limited treatment options.
  • Research on anti-obesity drugs suggests the possibility of reducing weight and reversing obesity-induced metabolic disturbances by controlling the appetite.
  • After screening more than 8000 medicinal plants, the researchers found M. alba (white mulberry) to be a potential source of CB1 receptor agonists.
  • Kuwanon G and Albanin G from the root-barks of M. alba exhibited 92 percent and 96 percent CB1 receptor ligand-binding inhibitory activities, respectively.
  • The researchers then tested the M. alba root-bark extract in an acute food intake study involving rats. They administered the extract at oral doses of 250 and 500?mg/kg and evaluated its ability to suppress the appetite.
  • To assess the extract’s long-term food intake reduction activity and effect on weight, they administered the extract using the same oral doses to C57BL/6J mice with diet-induced obesity for seven weeks.
  • The researchers reported statistically significant and dose-dependent reductions in food intake in both the acute and long-term studies.
  • Specifically, they noted food intake reductions of 58.6 percent and 44.8 percent at 250?mg/kg, and 50.1 percent and 44.3 percent at 500?mg/kg, one and two hours after food provision, respectively.
  • In the long-term study, the researchers observed a 20 percent decrease in the animals’ daily calorie intake.
  • Obese mice treated with high-dose M. alba root-bark extract lost 10.4 g (22.5 percent) body weight after seven weeks.
  • The extract also caused statistically significant reductions in biochemical markers of obesity and visceral fat deposit.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that white mulberry extracts rich in Kuwanon G and Albanin G can be used to control appetite, manage body weight and treat the metabolic syndrome in obese subjects.

Journal Reference:

Yimam M, Jiao P, Hong M, Brownell L, Lee YC, Kim HJ, Nam JB, Kim MR, Jia Q. MORUS ALBA, A MEDICINAL PLANT FOR APPETITE SUPPRESSION AND WEIGHT LOSS. Journal of Medicinal Food. 10 July 2019;22(7):741–751. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2017.0142



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