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Therapeutic Role of Phytomedicines on Obesity: Importance of Herbal Pancreatic lipase Inhibitors

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Biotechnology, Himachal Pradesh University, Summer Hill, Shimla-171 005, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Medical Sci., Volume 1, Issue (9), Pages 15-26, October,28 (2013)


Obesity has been declared one of the major threats to human health in 21st century. It has become the center of much clinical attention and especially clinical laboratories, whose aim is to reduce this new world syndrome. Dietary fat is associated with well known diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardio-vascular diseases. Certain long-term medications like use of insulin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, atypical antipsycotics, antidepressant, steroids, some anticonvulsants (phenytoin and valproate), pizotifen and some forms of hormonal contraception may also cause weight gain or changes in body composition. Retardation of nutrient absorption and digestion may be used as an approach to manage obesity and related diseases. Orlistat is the only approved drug for long-term use and widely accepted also. However, some side effects and complications are also related with this medication. Currently, plant based natural products as anti-obesity therapeutics is largely unexplored and such products may be safer and effective alternative(s) for this ever increasing pandemic. Anti-nutritional factors (ANF) are natural compounds which act to retard nutrient(s) uptake. Phyto-chemicals like kievitone and visoltricine are useful in pharmacological treatments. Phyto-chemicals like flavonoides, saponins, alkaloids and many others are reported as biologically active molecules. Plants may prove to be an alternative source(s) of a variety of anti-lipolytic therapeutic molecule(s) that can either inhibit the pancreatic lipase or the uptake/absorption of fat(s) or both. In this review we emphasize the potential role of these bioactive compounds as pancreatic lipase (PL) inhibitory molecules. Moreover, medicinal plants are promising sources for isolation, identification and characterization of bioactive compounds for developing effective anti-obesetic agents.


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