Extensive Screening for Plant Foodstuffs in Okinawa, Japan with Anti-Obese Activity on Adipocytes In Vitro

  • Yoshimi NiwanoEmail author
  • Fumiaki Beppu
  • Taichi Shimada
  • Rika Kyan
  • Kazumasa Yasura
  • Minori Tamaki
  • Michinori Nishino
  • Yoshiyuki Midorikawa
  • Hiroki Hamada
Original Paper


To search for plant foodstuffs with potent anti-obese activity, we conducted a large scale screening based on the inhibitory activity on adipogenesis and the facilitating activity on adipolysis in vitro. That is, inhibition of intracellular lipid accumulation and facilitation of lipid degradation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes were extensively screened from ethanol and hexane extracts of approximately 100 kinds of plant foodstuffs marketed in Okinawa prefecture, which has been famous for the highest prevalence of exceptionally long-lived individuals in the world. Among them thirty one foodstuffs showed potent inhibitory activity on intracellular lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, whereas only four foodstuffs showed clear facilitating effect on lipid degradation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Although further study to examine the in vivo effects on adipogenesis and adipolysis is required, this is the first study to investigate anti-obese characteristics of wide range of traditional Okinawa foodstuffs so that the results give useful information to take another look at Okinawa food culture.


Okinawa foodstuffs Anti-obese activity 3T3-L1 adipocyte 



Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


calf serum


fetal calf serum







This work was supported by a grant of the Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration, Okinawa 2006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshimi Niwano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fumiaki Beppu
    • 1
  • Taichi Shimada
    • 1
  • Rika Kyan
    • 2
  • Kazumasa Yasura
    • 3
  • Minori Tamaki
    • 3
  • Michinori Nishino
    • 4
  • Yoshiyuki Midorikawa
    • 4
  • Hiroki Hamada
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Center for Functional Food Materials, Sunny Health Holdings Co., Ltd.Saito Biotechnology IncubatorIbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Life ScienceOkayama University of ScienceOkayamaJapan
  3. 3.Biremo Okinawa Co., Ltd., 804 ShiodairaItomanJapan
  4. 4.Nansei Shoto Industrial Advancement CenterOkinawaJapan

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