Chronic Intake of Micrograms of Abscisic Acid Improves Glycemia and Lipidemia in a Human Study and in High-Glucose Fed Mice

Nutrients. 2018 Oct 12;10(10):1495. doi: 10.3390/nu10101495.


We tested the effect of chronic low-dose abscisic acid (ABA), a phytohormone-regulating human glucose tolerance, on the metabolic parameters that are dysregulated in prediabetes and metabolic syndrome (MS).Ten healthy subjects received 1 µg ABA/Kg body weight (BW)/day as an ABA-rich food supplement: (i) the glycemia profile after a carbohydrate-rich meal, with or without supplement, was compared; (ii) fasting blood glucose (FBG), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), total cholesterol (TC), and body mass index (BMI) after 75 days of daily supplementation of a habitual Mediterranean diet were compared with starting values.CD1 mice were fed a high-glucose diet with or without synthetic ABA (1 µg/Kg BW) for 4 months and the same parameters investigated in the human study were compared. The food supplement significantly reduced the area under the curve of glycemia after a carbohydrate-rich meal and FBG, HbA1c, TC, and BMI after chronic treatment. ABA-treated mice showed a significant reduction of HbA1c, TC, and body weight gain compared with untreated controls. The combined results from the human and murine studies allow us to conclude that the observed improvement of the metabolic parameters can be attributed to ABA and to advocate the use of ABA-containing food supplements in prediabetes and/or MS.

Keywords: cardiovascular risk; food supplement; glucose tolerance; metabolic syndrome; prediabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology
  • Abscisic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Postprandial Period
  • Prediabetic State / blood*
  • Prediabetic State / drug therapy
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Cholesterol