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Effects of Nelumbo nucifera Leaf Extract on Obesity


The two main components from a Nelumbo nucifera leaf extract (NnEx) were investigated for their ability to prevent triglyceride accumulation and promoting lipolysis. Sun-dried Nelumbo nucifera leaves were immersed in hot water to extract the soluble components, and the resulting solution was analyzed by LC-MS and nuclear magnetic resonance. The results showed that quercetin-3-O-ß-glucuronide (Q3GA) and quercetin were the key components of the NnEx. In vitro experiments confirmed that quercetin and Q3GA functioned in lipid metabolism by promoting triglyceride degradation through inhibition of the cAMP pathway. In vivo experiments showed that NnEx ingestion inhibited the accumulation of neutral fats in ICR mice and transitioned the hepatocytes of type II diabetic KK-Ay mice out of glycogenosis. These results highlight the ability of NnEx to control metabolism by modulating fat and sugar absorption and may provide an interesting novel treatment for obesity and related lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes.

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This work was primarily sponsored by Meiji Co., Ltd., and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81803228) partly. Shanghai Meiji Health Science and Technology Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research provided partial support for research salaries.

Author information




ZSJ designed the study and helped with manuscript preparation. SI, YA and TK carried out the in vitro experiments. HT carried out the animal experiments. MO assisted in data collection. LY assisted in data analysis. EL and HT carried out data analysis and wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Zai-Si Ji.

Additional information

Enuo Liu and Hiroshi Tsuboi are co-firstauthors.

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Liu, E., Tsuboi, H., Ikegami, S. et al. Effects of Nelumbo nucifera Leaf Extract on Obesity. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 76, 377–384 (2021).

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  • Flavonoids
  • Nelumbo nucifera
  • Adipocyte differentiation
  • Quercetin-3-O-ß-glucuronide
  • cAMP activity
  • Triglyceride lipolysis