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Yangkyuksanwha-tang (YST) is an herbal medicine based on Sasang constitutional medicine (SCM) and is widely used in Korean traditional medicine. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of YST on obesity in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice.
We induced obesity in C57bl/6 J mice using a HFD, and then orally administered 300 mg/kg YST for 6 weeks. We measured body weight, food efficiency, organ and fat weight, serum biochemical parameters, and obesity-related gene expression, and carried out histological analysis at the end of the experimental period.
YST significantly reduced the absolute body weight and food efficiency ratio. The serum, aminotransferase, glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the YST-treated group than in the control group, whereas the high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level in the YST-treated group was significantly higher. The YST-treated group also showed a significant reduction in regional fatty tissues and the absolute weight of various organs. We also observed a significantly reduced expression of AP2/FABP4, C/EBP-β, leptin, and SREBP1c/ADD1 mRNA, and significantly increased expression of UCP-2 and adiponectin mRNA in adipose tissue in the YST-treated group. YST also decreased the lipid droplet size and lipid accumulation in the liver, as well as adipocyte size in epididymal adipose tissue. At the dose tested, YST was non-toxic to the liver and kidneys of the mice.
The results imply that YST has anti-obesity effects in obesity-induced mice. Although the number of experimental animals was limited and the drug effects concern mice, rather than humans, which have different constitutions, the study has valuable implications with respect to the general effects of YST.