Dichloromethane and methanol extracts of seven different food and medicinal plants were tested in a screening platform for identification of extracts with potential bioactivity related to insulin-dependent glucose uptake and fat accumulation. The screening platform included a series of in vitro bioassays, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ-mediated transactivation, adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cell cultures, and glucose uptake in both 3T3-L1 adipocytes and primary porcine myotubes, as well as one in vivo bioassay, fat accumulation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that dichloromethane extracts of aerial parts of golden root (Rhodiola rosea) and common elder (Sambucus nigra) as well as the dichloromethane extracts of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and carrot (Daucus carota) were able to stimulate insulin-dependent glucose uptake in both adipocytes and myotubes while weekly activating PPARγ without promoting adipocyte differentiation. In addition, these extracts were able to decrease fat accumulation in C. elegans. Methanol extracts of summer savory (Satureja hortensis), common elder, and broccoli (Brassica oleracea) enhanced glucose uptake in myotubes but were not able to activate PPARγ, indicating a PPARγ-independent effect on glucose uptake.
Evidence - Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014, Vol 2014, Issue 2014, p. 1-8