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J Nutr Health. 2019 Dec;52(6):529-539. Korean.
Published online Dec 26, 2019.
© 2019 The Korean Nutrition Society
Antioxidant and antiobesity activities of oral treatment with ethanol extract from sprout of evening primrose (Oenothera laciniata) in high fat diet-induced obese mice
Chung Shil Kwak,1 Mi-Ju Kim,1 Sun Gi Kim,2 Sunyeong Park,3 In Gyu Kim,4 and Heun Soo Kang2
1Institute on Aging, Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Korea.
2Cell2in, Inc., Seoul 03080, Korea.
3Dain Natural Co., Ltd. Seoul 04788, Korea.
4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-740-8506, Email:
Received Oct 02, 2019; Revised Nov 07, 2019; Accepted Nov 11, 2019.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Sprouts of evening primrose (Oenothera laciniata, OL) were reported to have high contents of flavonoids and potent antioxidant activity. This study examined the antioxidant and antiobesity activities of OL sprouts to determine if they could be a natural health-beneficial resource preventing obesity and oxidative stress.


OL sprouts were extracted with 50% ethanol, evaporated, and lyophilized (OLE). The in vitro antioxidant activity of OLE was examined using four different tests. The antiobesity activity and in vivo antioxidant activity from OLE consumption were examined using high fat diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6 mice.


The IC50 for the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging and superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activities of OLE were 26.2 µg/mL and 327.6 µg/mL, respectively. OLE exhibited the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) activity of 56.7 µg ascorbic acid eq./mL at 100 µg/mL, and an increased glutathione level by 65.1% at 200 µg/mL compared to the control in the hUC-MSC stem cells. In an animal study, oral treatment with 50 mg or 100 mg of OLE/kg body weight for 14 weeks reduced the body weight gain, visceral fat content, fat cell size, blood leptin, and triglyceride levels, as well as the atherogenic index compared to the high fat diet control group (HFC) (p < 0.05). The blood malondialdehyde (MDA) level and the catalase and SOD-1 activities in adipose tissue were reduced significantly by the OLE treatment compared to HFC as well (p < 0.05). In epididymal adipose tissue, the OLE treatment reduced the mRNA expression of leptin, PPAR-γ and FAS significantly (p < 0.05) compared to HFC while it increased adiponectin expression (p < 0.05).


OLE consumption has potent antioxidant and antiobesity activities via the suppression of oxidative stress and lipogenesis in DIO mice. Therefore, OLE could be a good candidate as a natural resource to develop functional food products that prevent obesity and oxidative stress.

Keywords: Oenothera laciniata; antioxidant; antiobesity; diet-induced obese model; adipokines


Fig. 1
Effect of OLE treatment on the GSH level in hUC-MSC cells. (A) GSH level according to the different passages of the cells. (B) Effect of OLE treatment on the GSH level in passage 15 cells. Each bar represents the mean ± SD. ***p < 0.001 compared with passage 4 (p4) or control.
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Fig. 2
Effect of OLE oral treatment on the body weight gain of mice fed high-fat diet. Data are represented as the mean ± SD (n = 8). Means that do not share the same superscript are significantly different by ANOVA/Duncan's multiple test at p < 0.05.
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Fig. 3
Effect of OLE oral treatment on the visceral adipose tissue accumulation and morphology in mice. (A) Visceral adipose tissue weight. (B) Representative H&E staining of epididymal adipose tissue and (C) size of adipocytes. Each bar represents the mean ± SD. Bars that do not share the same superscript are significantly different by ANOVA/Duncan's multiple test at p < 0.05.
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Fig. 4
Effect of OLE oral treatment on the antioxidant enzyme activities in epididymal adipose tissue of mice. Each bar represents the mean ± SD. Bars that do not share the same superscript are significantly different by ANOVA/Duncan's multiple test at p < 0.05.
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Fig. 5
Effect of OLE oral treatment on the mRNA of adipokines and lipid-metabolism related genes in epidydimal fat tissue of mice. Each bar represents the mean ± SD. Bars that do not share the same superscript are significantly different by ANOVA/Duncan's multiple test at p < 0.05.
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Table 1
Primer sequences
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Table 2
In vitro antioxidant activities of OLE
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Table 3
Body weight gain, liver weight and food efficient ratio (FER) in mice
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Table 4
Plasma concentration of leptin, lipid and MDA and atherogenic index in mice
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This study was supported by grants (P0002206) from Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea.

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