Visceral fat accumulation has been reported as the most important risk factor for the development of various metabolic disorders. In this study, the preventive effects of Bofutsushosan, a Japanese Kampo preparation, on obesity and various metabolic disorders were investigated focusing on visceral fat accumulation using Tsumura, Suzuki, Obese, Diabetes (TSOD) mice, which showed significant accumulation of visceral fat, and developed metabolic disorders including glucose intolerance, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and hyperinsulinemia. At 2 months after initiation of the study, the control TSOD mice developed various metabolic disorders such as marked obesity and visceral fat accumulation, increases in the levels of blood glucose, insulin, total-cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG), and abnormal glucose tolerance, hypertension and peripheral neuropathy as distinct from the control Tsumura, Suzuki, Non-Obesity (TSNO) mice, which do not develop obesity and various metabolic disorders. In the TSOD mice treated with Bofutsushosan, body weight gain and visceral/subcutaneous fat accumulation were significantly suppressed. Biochemical parameters in plasma (glucose, TC, insulin and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) level) were significantly suppressed, and abnormal glucose tolerance, elevation of blood pressure and peripheral neuropathy accompanying progression of metabolic disorders were also significantly suppressed. On the other hand, in TSNO mice, Bofutsushosan showed no noteworthy impacts on most parameters except for an improvement of the lipid plasma level. The above results suggested that Bofutsushosan could be effective in preventing obesity and various metabolic disorders.
2008 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan