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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 847167, 8 pages
Research Article

Liuwei Dihuang Lowers Body Weight and Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity in Obese Rats

1Institute for Nutrisciences and Health, National Research Council Canada, Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
2Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
3Department of Chemistry, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
4Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Harbin Medical University, Heilongjiang, Harbin 150081, China

Received 30 January 2011; Revised 14 June 2011; Accepted 23 June 2011

Academic Editor: Vitaly Napadow

Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Perry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study was aimed at investigating the efficacy and mechanism(s) of action of a Chinese herbal formulation, Liuwei Dihuang (LWDH), as a prospective natural weight-lowering product. Following a 2-week acclimation period, 48 obesity-prone (OP-CD) rats were divided into 4 groups ( each). One group served as a positive control for obesity (OP), while the other 3 were challenged twice daily by oral gavage with total daily dosages of 500, 1500, or 3500 mg/kg BW LWDH, respectively, for 10 weeks. One group ( ) of obesity-resistant (OR-CD) rats served as the normal control group. All rats were fed the same AIN-93G diet modified to contain 60% energy from fat. The highest LWDH dose significantly reduced body weight during the last 4 weeks of treatment. Food intake was reduced beginning in week 2. The high LWDH dose lowered serum triglyceride (TG) and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels and body fat. Both the high and medium doses also lowered serum leptin and insulin levels. Liver function testing revealed no adverse side effects under the current experimental conditions. The results of the present study suggest that LWDH has potential as a preventive or therapeutic natural product against overweight and obesity.