Regulation of obesity and lipid disorders by herbal extracts from Morus alba, Melissa officinalis, and Artemisia capillaris in high-fat diet-induced obese mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jan 17;115(2):263-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.09.029. Epub 2007 Oct 5.


Melissa officinalis L. (Labiatae), Morus alba L. (Moraceae), and Artemisia capillaris Thunb. (Compositae) are suggested to be involved in the regulation of hyperlipidemia. We hypothesized that Ob-X, a mixture of three herbs, Morus alba, Melissa officinalis and Artemisia capillaris [corrected] improves lipid metabolism, body weight gain and adiposity and that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) is associated with these events. Mice fed a high-fat diet for 12 weeks exhibited increases in body weight gain and adipose tissue mass compared with mice fed a low fat diet. However, feeding a high-fat diet supplemented with Ob-X significantly reduced these effects. Ob-X treatment also decreased the circulating levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol, and inhibited hepatic lipid accumulation. Ob-X supplementation was found to increase the hepatic mRNA levels of PPARalpha target enzymes responsible for fatty acid beta-oxidation. Moreover, Ob-X elevated the endogenous expression of a luciferase reporter gene containing three copies of a PPAR response element (PPRE) in NMu2Li liver cells. These data demonstrate that Ob-X regulates body weight gain, adipose tissue mass, and lipid metabolism in part through changes in the expression of hepatic PPARalpha target genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Artemisia / chemistry*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Melissa / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Morus / chemistry*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • PPAR alpha / drug effects
  • PPAR alpha / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • PPAR alpha
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol