Cheonggukjang and chaga mushrooms have numerous health benefits, and have been used in alternative medicine. Therefore, a powder mixture of 98: Cheonggukjang and 2: Chaga extracts was fermented with Lactobacillus acidophilus KCTC3925 (FCC) and its anti-obesity effects in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice were determined. Five-week-old male ICR mice were fed a normal diet or HFD in the presence or absence of 3% and 5% FCC by weight (n = 10 per group). After 12 weeks, the mice were sacrificed, and the serum and tissue samples were collected for analysis. Body weight and epididymal fat pad weight were significantly lowered in the 3% and 5% FCC groups compared with those in the HFD control group (p < 0.01). FCC supplementation suppressed serum triglyceride and increased serum HDL-C levels (p < 0.01). Serum GOT, GPT, and leptin levels, hepatic COX-2 mRNA expression, and splenic COX-2 and IL-4 mRNA expression were significantly higher in the HFD groups than in the control group (p > 0.05); however, except for splenic IL-4 levels, the increases were significantly attenuated by FCC supplementation. Expression of ICAM-1, an aortic inflammatory marker, was significantly increased in the HFD group; this effect was suppressed in the 3% FCC group (p < 0.01) but not in the 5% FCC group. FCC suppressed the body weight and epididymal fat pad weight gain, as well as inflammatory responses in the liver and spleen of HFD-fed mice. Thus, FCC supplementation will be beneficial for the treatment of obesity-related effects.
Keywords: Cheonggukjang; Lactobacillus acidophilus KCTC 3925; anti-obesity; chaga mushroom; high-fat diet; inflammatory molecules.