Anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects of Nelumbo nucifera seed ethanol extract in human pre-adipocytes and rats fed a high-fat diet

J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Feb;94(3):568-75. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6297. Epub 2013 Aug 9.


Background: We conducted this investigation in order to examine the anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects of Nelumbo nucifera seed ethanol extract (NSEE) in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: To study the anti-obesity effect of NSEE in vitro and in vivo, human pre-adipocytes were treated with NSEE, and male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with a normal diet and a high-fat diet with or without NSEE, respectively.

Results: In vitro treatment with NSEE resulted in inhibition of lipid accumulation and decreased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), and leptin in cultured human adipocytes, indicating that it inhibited the differentiation of pre-adipocytes into adipocytes. Administration of NSEE resulted in significantly reduced body weight gain and adipose tissue weights in rats. Serum triglyceride and leptin level of the high-fat diet + NSEE group was significantly lower, compared to the high-fat group.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate an inhibitory effect of NSEE on adipogenesis. In addition, NSEE had a beneficial effect, reducing adipose tissue weights, ameliorating blood lipid profile, and modulating serum leptin level in rats fed a high-fat diet. Therefore, we suggest that lotus seed has a potential to be developed as an effective agent against obesity-related diseases.

Keywords: Nelumbo nucifera seed; anti-obesity; high-fat diet; human pre-adipocyte; hypolipidaemic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias* / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias* / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias* / prevention & control
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nelumbo*
  • Obesity* / blood
  • Obesity* / etiology
  • Obesity* / prevention & control
  • PPAR gamma / blood
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seeds
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Leptin
  • PPAR gamma
  • Plant Extracts
  • Slc2a4 protein, rat
  • Triglycerides