Abstract: Soyasaponins are triterpenoid glycosides found in soybean. We investigated whether soyasaponin ameliorates lipid metabolism and its possible mechanisms. In C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), soyasaponin (SAP) was orally administered for 9 weeks. Additionally, we evaluated the effect of soyasapogenols on 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In HFD-fed mice, the SAP significantly reduced body weight by 7% and relative adipose tissue weight by 35%. X-ray computed tomography demonstrated that the SAP reduced visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue weights during week 3 of feeding. The SAP reduced sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) mRNA levels by 32% in the epididymal adipose tissue, significantly decreasing the triacylglycerol (TAG) content by 37% and SREBP-1c and fatty acid synthase mRNA levels by 52% and 61%, respectively, in the liver. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, soyasapogenol B significantly decreased lipid droplets. The SAP containing soyasaponin A and B as conjugates demonstrate anti-obesity effects by suppressing adipocyte differentiation and lipogenesis, with a preventive effect on hepatic TAG accumulation by suppressing lipogenesis. Practical Application: Soyasaponin is one of the oleanane triterpenoids in soybeans. We have demonstrated that soyasaponin potently reduces body weight and white adipose tissue weight, and hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation in high-fat diet-fed mice. Thus, soyasaponin is a beneficial compound to prevent obesity and fatty liver.
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