Monoterpene phenolic compound thymol prevents high fat diet induced obesity in murine model

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2014 Feb;24(2):116-23. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2013.861888. Epub 2013 Dec 5.


Context: Obesity has become a worldwide health problem. Most of the synthetic anti-obesity drugs have failed to manage the obesity due to either ineffectiveness or adverse effect. The research of prominent chemical constituents from herbal for the management of obesity has greatly increased.

Objective: The main objective of the present study was intended to examine the effects of thymol in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity in murine model.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were fed HFD for 6 weeks to induce obesity. Thymol (14 mg/kg) administered orally twice a day to HFD-fed rats for 4 weeks. Alteration in body weight gain, visceral fat-pads weight and serum biochemical markers were assessed.

Results: At the end of study, rats fed with HFD exhibited significantly (p < 0.001) enhanced body weight gain, visceral pad weight, lipids, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransaminase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), glucose, insulin and leptin levels compared with rats fed with normal diets. Thymol treatment showed significantly (p < 0.001) decreased body weight gain, visceral fat-pad weights, lipids, ALT, AST, LDH, BUN, glucose, insulin, and leptin levels in HFD-induced obese rats. Furthermore, thymol treatment showed significantly decreased serum lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidant levels in HFD-induced obese rats.

Discussion and conclusions: Thymol prevents HFD-induced obesity in murine model through several mechanisms including attenuation of visceral fat accumulation, lipid lowering action, improvement of insulin and leptin sensitivity and enhanced antioxidant potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thymol / pharmacology
  • Thymol / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Thymol