Compound in Mistletoe combats obesity related liver disease in mice.

mistletoeMistletoe is not just a pretty holiday decoration used during the Christmas season.

A study published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Chemistry has identified that Korean mistletoe produces a number of biologically active compounds. These compounds called viscothionin have a steroid and flavonoid activity.

Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that occur generally in nature and are categorized, according to chemical structure, into flavonols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, catechins, anthocyanidins and chalcones.

Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified, many of which occur in fruits, vegetables and beverages (tea, , beer, wine and fruit drinks).

The flavonoids have aroused considerable interest recently because of their potential on human -they have been reported to have antiviral, anti-allergic, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant activities.

Viscothionin affects fat metabolism in the . When obese mice were exposed to the compound, their body and weights dropped.

The scientists conclude that viscothionin could be explored as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty disease.


Sokho Kim, Dongho Lee, Jae-Kyung Kim, Jae-Hun Kim, Jong-Heum Park, Ju-Woon Lee, Jungkee Kwon. Viscothionin Isolated from Korean Mistletoe Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Disease via the Activation of Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase. Journal of Agricultural and Chemistry, 2014; 62 (49): 11876 DOI: 10.1021/jf503535s

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