Prunus persica (L.) Batsch is a deciduous fruit tree cultivated worldwide. The flower of P. persica (PPF), commonly called the peach blossom, is currently consumed as a tea for weight loss in East Asia; however, its anti-obesity effects have yet to be demonstrated in vitro or in vivo. Since PPF is rich in phytochemicals with anti-obesity properties, we aimed to investigate the effects of PPF on obesity and its underlying mechanism using a diet-induced obesity model. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed either normal diet, high-fat diet (HFD), or HFD containing 0.2% or 0.6% PPF water extract for 8 weeks. PPF significantly reduced body weight, abdominal fat mass, serum glucose, alanine transaminase and aspartate aminotransferase levels, and liver and spleen weights compared to the HFD control group. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that PPF suppressed lipogenic gene expression, including stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and -2 and fatty acid synthase, and up-regulated the fatty acid β-oxidation gene, carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1, in the liver. Our results suggest that PPF exerts anti-obesity effects in obese mice and these beneficial effects might be mediated through improved hepatic lipid metabolism by reducing lipogenesis and increasing fatty acid oxidation.
Keywords: Prunus persica; anti-obesity; glucose; high-fat diet; lipogenesis; liver; peach blossom; β-oxidation.