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Obesity has become a worldwide issue and is accompanied by serious complications. Western high energy diet has been identified to be a major factor contributing to the current obesity pandemic. Thus, it is important to optimize dietary composition, bioactive substances, and agents to prevent and treat obesity. To date, extracts from plants, such as vegetables, tea, fruits, and Chinese herbal medicine, have been showed to have the abilities of regulating adipogenesis and attenuating obesity. These plant extracts mainly contain polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenoids, which could play a significant role in anti-obesity through various signaling pathways and gut microbiota. Those reported anti-obesity mechanisms mainly include inhibiting white adipose tissue growth and lipogenesis, promoting lipolysis, brown/beige adipose tissue development, and muscle thermogenesis. In this review, we summarize the plant extracts and their possible mechanisms responsible for their anti-obesity effects. Based on the current findings, dietary plant extracts and foods containing these bioactive compounds can be potential preventive or therapeutic agents for obesity and its related metabolic diseases.


Han-Ning Wang, Jin-Zhu Xiang, Zhi Qi, Min Du. Plant extracts in prevention of obesity. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2022;62(8):2221-2234

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PMID: 33319595

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