European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 965–979 | Cite as

Leopoldia comosa prevents metabolic disorders in rats with high-fat diet-induced obesity

  • T. Casacchia
  • F. Scavello
  • C. Rocca
  • M. C. Granieri
  • G. Beretta
  • D. Amelio
  • F. Gelmini
  • A. Spena
  • R. Mazza
  • C. C. Toma
  • Tommaso AngeloneEmail author
  • Giancarlo StattiEmail author
  • T. Pasqua
Original Contribution



Obesity is the main feature of a complex illness known as metabolic syndrome. Anti-obesogenic therapies are often associated with side effects and represent a high cost in conventional pharmacological approaches. New strategies based on natural remedies are under continuous investigation. Leopoldia comosa (L.) Parl. (L. comosa) is a spontaneous plant with diuretic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Recently, a hypoglycemic activity mediated by inhibition of carbohydrate digestion has been identified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a diet supplemented with L. comosa extracts on a rat model of diet-induced obesity.


Leopoldia comosa bulb extracts were obtained using a dynamic extractor. Phytochemical properties and in vitro determination of the antioxidant activity and of the inhibitory effects on lipase and pancreatic amylase were performed. Rats were fed (12 weeks) a standard diet, or a high-fat diet (HFD), or an HFD plus L. comosa (20 or 60 mg/die) extracts. The metabolic and anthropometric parameters were recorded.


Results indicated that L. comosa inhibited lipase and pancreatic amylase activities. In vivo data showed that the supplementation with both doses of L. comosa extracts counteracted the HFD-dependent effects. It reduced body weight, abdominal obesity and dyslipidemia, and improved glucose tolerance with a reduction of lipidic tissue hypertrophy and liver steatosis, as compared to HFD-fed rat. In liver, L. comosa reduced protein expression levels of PEPCK and G6Pase.


We suggest that L. comosa extracts prevent obesity-dependent metabolic disorders. This paves the way for their therapeutic application as a natural anti-obesity drug.


Leopoldia comosa (L.) ParlObesity Metabolism Homoisoflavanones Pancreatic lipase Antioxidant activity 



This research was supported by “Dottorato di Ricerca in Medicina Traslazionale” (C.T.), “Dottorato di Ricerca in Scienze della Vita” (S.F., R.C., G.M.C., D.A., R.M., T.A) and MIUR of Italy (ex 60%).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional SciencesUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth SciencesUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly
  3. 3.National Institute of Cardiovascular Research (INRC)BolognaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Phytotherapy, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity De Vest “Vasile Goldis” of AradAradRomania

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