Pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity of taraxacum officinale in vitro and in vivo

Nutr Res Pract. 2008 Winter;2(4):200-3. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2008.2.4.200. Epub 2008 Dec 31.


Obesity has become a worldwide health problem. Orlistat, an inhibitor of pancreatic lipase, is currently approved as an anti-obesity drug. However, gastrointestinal side effects caused by Orlistat may limit its use. In this study the inhibitory activities of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) against pancreatic lipase in vitro and in vivo were measured to determine its possible use as a natural anti-obesity agent. The inhibitory activities of the 95% ethanol extract of T. officinale and Orlistat were measured using 4-methylumbelliferyl oleate (4-MU oleate) as a substrate at concentrations of 250, 125, 100, 25, 12.5 and 4 microg/ml. To determine pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity in vivo, mice (n=16) were orally administered with corn oil emulsion (5 ml/kg) alone or with the 95% ethanol extract of T. officinale (400 mg/kg) following an overnight fast. Plasma triglyceride levels were measured at 0, 90, 180, and 240 min after treatment and incremental areas under the response curves (AUC) were calculated. The 95% ethanol extract of T. officinale and Orlistat, inhibited, porcine pancreatic lipase activity by 86.3% and 95.7% at a concentration of 250 microg/ml, respectively. T. officinale extract showed dose-dependent inhibition with the IC(50) of 78.2 microg/ml. A single oral dose of the extract significantly inhibited increases in plasma triglyceride levels at 90 and 180 min and reduced AUC of plasma triglyceride response curve (p<0.05). The results indicate that T. officinale exhibits inhibitory activities against pancreatic lipase in vitro and in vivo. Further studies to elucidate anti-obesity effects of chronic consumption of T. officinale and to identify the active components responsible for inhibitory activity against pancreatic lipase are necessary.

Keywords: Taraxacum officinale; mouse; pancreatic lipase; triglyceride.