Long-term administration of an aqueous extract of dried, immature fruit of Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. suppresses body weight gain in rats

Won Sik Shim, Heejung Back, Eun Kyoung Seo, Hyun Tai Lee, Chang Koo Shim

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18 Scopus citations


Aim of study: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of daily administration of an aqueous extract of the dried, immature fruit of Poncirus trifoliata Raf. (Rutaceae) (PF-W) on body weight in rats. Materials and methods: PF-W was used in following experiments: 10-week-long measurement of body weight and food intake, in vitro pancreatic lipase activity assay, in vivo triglyceride concentration study, and measurement of intestinal transit rate. Results: A high dose of PF-W (200 mg/2 mL/animal/day, in aqueous solution) was administered intragastrically to rats for 10 weeks. PF-W suppressed body weight gain by 6%. However, administration of PF-W at a lower dose (20 mg/animal/day) did not reduce weight gain. Administration of low- or high-dose PF-W had no effect on food intake throughout the experimental period. Additional experiments revealed that the suppressive effect of PF-W on body weight gain was not related to pancreatic lipase activity. Moreover, co-administration of PF-W with a lipid emulsion did not reduce plasma triglyceride concentration. Of interest, the high dose of PF-W significantly increased the rate of intestinal transit, whereas oral administration of the lower dose did not. Control and PF-W-treated groups did not differ in hematological and serum biochemical parameters, or in relative organ weights after 10 weeks of high-dose PF-W administration. Conclusion: PF-W does not suppress body weight gain by interfering with fat absorption in a pancreatic lipase-dependent manner. The suppressive effect of PF-W on weight gain is likely due to the increased rate of intestinal transit, and the consequent reduction in nutrient absorption. Moreover, it appears that PF-W is relatively safe for long-term use. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that long-term, daily administration of PF-W successfully suppressed body weight gain-apparently due to accelerated intestinal transit and not to interference with pancreatic lipase activity. Due to its apparent long-term safety, PF-W is a potential therapeutic agent for reduction of body weight in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-299
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 12 Nov 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology through the National Research Laboratory Program (grant ROA-2006-000-10290-0 , Chang-Koo Shim) and by a Dong-eui University Grant ( 2009AA105 , Hyun-Tai Lee).


  • Body weight
  • Food intake
  • Intestinal transit
  • Obesity
  • Pancreatic lipase
  • Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. (Rutaceae)


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