Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) leaf extract limits weight gain and liver steatosis in mice fed a high-fat diet

Planta Med. 2010 Apr;76(6):566-71. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1240612. Epub 2009 Nov 16.


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) leaf extract (RE) on the prevention of weight gain and associated metabolic disorders in mice fed a high-fat diet. For this purpose, RE was administered for 50 days at 20 or 200 mg/kg body weight (BW) to mice fed a high-fat diet. Body weight was monitored during the study and body composition was measured before and at the end of the intervention. Glucose tolerance, assessed by an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT), and hepatic and faecal lipid contents were determined at the end of the study. Treatment with 200 mg/kg BW of RE induced a significant reduction of weight and fat mass gain (-64% and -57%, respectively) associated with an increase of faecal lipid excretion. This effect appears to be related to the inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity induced by RE, as demonstrated IN VITRO. While glucose tolerance and fasting glycaemia were not affected by RE treatment, hepatic triglyceride levels were decreased by 39% in RE-treated mice. Administration of the lower dose of RE (20 mg/kg BW) was ineffective on all the parameters measured. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that consumption of 200 mg/kg BW of RE can limit weight gain induced by a high-fat diet and protect against obesity-related liver steatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fatty Liver / prevention & control*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Rosmarinus / chemistry*
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Lipids
  • Plant Extracts