Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
ISSN (Print): 2333-1119 ISSN (Online): 2333-1240 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prabhat Kumar Mandal
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Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017, 5(10), 781-788
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-5-10-9
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The Anti-obesity and Anti-inflammatory Effects of “LICONINE”, an Extract of Glycyrrhiza Uralensis, on Diet-induced Obese Mice and 3T3-L1 Mouse Adipocytes

Yuka Sasakawa1, 2, , Akari Kominami1, 2, Michiyo Abe1, 2, Kaori Yamamoto2, Mayumi Nakao2, Fumiko Nakaoka2, Shigetoshi Okumura2, 3, Lekh Raj Juneja2, 3 and Jun Kunisawa1

1Laboratory of Vaccine Materials, National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, Osaka, Japan

2MG Pharma Inc., Osaka, Japan

3ROHTO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan

Pub. Date: October 14, 2017

Cite this paper:
Yuka Sasakawa, Akari Kominami, Michiyo Abe, Kaori Yamamoto, Mayumi Nakao, Fumiko Nakaoka, Shigetoshi Okumura, Lekh Raj Juneja and Jun Kunisawa. The Anti-obesity and Anti-inflammatory Effects of “LICONINE”, an Extract of Glycyrrhiza Uralensis, on Diet-induced Obese Mice and 3T3-L1 Mouse Adipocytes. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017; 5(10):781-788. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-5-10-9


The anti-obesity effect of Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Ural licorice) extract at the intake level of low risk has not been clarified. In the present study, the anti-obesity effects of Ural licorice, its extracts, its fractions and Glycyrrhizic acid at intake levels of low risk were examined in high-fat high-sucrose (HFS) diet-induced obese mice. Ural licorice extract, which was given the brand name “LICONINE,” was the most effective extract; it decreased body weight, visceral fat weight, number of adipocyte crown-like structures, and adipocyte size in visceral fat. Low doses of LICONINE also had anti-obesity effects. The terpenoid fraction, but not flavonoid fraction, of LICONINE had an anti-obesity effect that did not depend exclusively on Glycyrrhizic acid. Next, we examined the effects of Ural licorice extracts, LICONINE fractions, and constituents of LICONINE terpenoid fraction on production of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in 3T3-L1 mouse adipocytes. LICONINE and its terpenoid fraction had anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects in both HFS diet-induced obese mice and 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Our results demonstrate for the first time that Licorice saponin G2, Licorice saponin H2, and Glycyrrhizic acid (all constituents of LICONINE terpenoid fraction) had anti-inflammatory effects in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In summary, at the intake level of low risk (human equivalent to less than 1 g licorice per day), LICONINE is an effective extract of Ural licorice and the terpenoid fraction is an effective fraction of LICONINE for treating obesity. Further research is needed to identify the mechanism underlying the anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects of LICONINE and its terpenoid fraction.

glycyrrhiza uralensis ural licorice extract LICONINE high-fat high-sucrose diet-induced obese mice obesity 3T3-L1 mouse adipocytes monocyte chemoattractant protein-1

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