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Potent Inhibitory Effect of Chinese Dietary Spices on Fatty Acid Synthase

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Dietary spices have been adopted in cooking since ancient times to enhance flavor and also as food preservatives and disease remedies. In China, the use of spices and other aromatic plants as food flavoring is an integral part of dietary behavior, but relatively little is known about their functions. Fatty acid synthase (FAS) has been recognized as a remedy target, and its inhibitors might be applied in disease treatment. The present work was designed to assess the inhibitory activities on FAS of spices extracts in Chinese menu. The in vitro inhibitory activities on FAS of 22 extracts of spices were assessed by spectrophotometrically monitoring oxidation of NADPH at 340 nm. Results showed that 20 spices extracts (90.9 %) exhibited inhibitory activities on FAS, with half inhibition concentration (IC50) values ranging from 1.72 to 810.7 μg/ml. Among them, seven spices showed strong inhibitory effect with IC50 values lower than 10 μg/ml. These findings suggest that a large proportion of the dietary spices studied possess promising inhibitory activities on FAS, and subsequently might be applied in the treatment of obesity and obesity-related human diseases.

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(-)-epigallocatechin gallate




Fatty acid synthase

IC50 :

Half inhibition concentration




β-Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide 2′-phosphate reduced tetrasodium salt.


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This work was supported by the Special Science and Technology Projects for Outstanding Young in Life Sciences (KSCX2-EW-Q-19), the “12th five-year plan” period: the basic frontier project in life sciences (KSCX2-EW-J-29), Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS, 2014 Youth National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.31300292), The Key Program of “The Dawn of West China” Talent Foundation of CAS (2012), as well as High-Tech Research and Development Program of Xinjiang (No. 201315108) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2013M540785).

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Correspondence to Xiaofeng Ma.

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Jiang, B., Liang, Y., Sun, X. et al. Potent Inhibitory Effect of Chinese Dietary Spices on Fatty Acid Synthase. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 70, 257–262 (2015).

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