Germinated soy germ extract ameliorates obesity through beige fat activation
Obesity is a worldwide public health concern requiring safe and effective strategies. Recent studies suggest that bioactive compounds from soybeans have beneficial effects on weight loss and reducing fat accumulation. However, despite the biochemical and nutritional changes during germination, the biological effects of germinated soy germ have not been fully investigated. In this article, germinated soy germ extract (GSGE) was evaluated as a potential treatment option for obesity using 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte and high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. In vitro studies demonstrated that GSGE suppressed the differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells into mature adipocytes, along with reductions in lipid accumulation and lipid droplet formation. In vivo studies also showed that a daily dose of 1 mg kg−1 of GSGE reduced weight gain, adipocyte area, serum triglyceride, and LDL-cholesterol in HFD-fed mice. The GSGE treatment promoted browning, which was associated with increased UCP1 expression in vitro and in vivo. In addition, GSGE treatment induced beige fat activation by upregulation of lipolysis and beta-oxidation. Furthermore, gene and protein expression levels of endocannabinoid system-related factors such as NAPE-PLD, FAAH, DAGL-α, and CB2 were altered along with browning and beige fat activation by GSGE. The present study indicates that GSGE effectively inhibits lipid accumulation and promotes beige fat transition and activation. Therefore, we suggest that GSGE treatment could be a promising strategy for the prevention of obesity by promoting weight loss, reducing fat accumulation, and improving obesity-related metabolic disorders.