12 January - 20 June 2016

Rutin from mulberries may aid weight loss by increasing metabolism

Scientists from China have indicated that rutin, a natural compound found in mulberries, might help treat obesity by activating brown fat or brown fat adipose tissues to increase metabolism leading to weight loss.

Scientists from China have indicated that rutin, a natural compound found in mulberries, might help treat obesity by activating brown fat or brown fat adipose tissues to increase metabolism leading to weight loss.  

The study published in The FASEB Journal by Jin et al. uses a mouse model consisting of genetically obese mice and mice with diet-induced obesity.  The scientists investigated whether the compound rutin might help with weight loss by examining the effect of rutin on energy metabolism.  Both groups of mice were fed a regular diet, supplemented with rutin (1 mg/ml) added to their drinking water. 

In both groups rutin treatment was found to significantly reduce body weight, increase energy expenditure and improve glucose homeostasis.  On further investigation the scientists discovered that body weight loss was mainly due to the improvement in adiposity. Rutin was found to specifically affect adipose composition with the size of lipid droplets in adipose tissues from rutin treated mice being smaller than the control and the mice also having significantly reduced serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The scientists report that brown fat is composed of multilocular lipid droplets and a large number of mitochondria that generate heat to maintain body temperature.  Brown fat is activated by the cold, causing it to burn energy and produce heat and is known to be essential for maintaining the body temperature of rodents and infants.   Rutin was found to act as a “cold mimetic” increasing the activity of a protein, UCP1 that generates heat as well as other brown adipose tissue markers.   The scientists state that cold exposure also induces the formation of “beige” cells in white adipose tissue. These cells are similar to brown adipose tissue (BAT) in that they contain a high number of mitochondria and have a similar functional characteristic as BAT.  Previous studies have indicated that increase activity in BAT and beige cells allows mice to “resist obesity”. Rutin treatment also increased the expression of UCP1 and other BAT-specific genes as well as beige cell markers in white adipose cells which indicates that “rutin treatment increases beige cell formation through regulating mitochondrial biogenesis.”

The scientists discuss the implications of their findings. They report that in humans BAT activity decreases as body mass index increases and also decreases with age.  Previous obese mouse model studies have indicated that BAT transplantation can reverse metabolic disorder.  In conclusion Jin et al. reiterate their findings and note that rutin has been used clinically for more than 60 years for other purposes with no side effects. They suggest therefore that rutin, acting as a “cold mimetic” may offer a promising strategy to treat obesity, diabetes and related disorders.

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry