Monascus-fermented yellow pigments monascin and ankaflavin showed antiobesity effect via the suppression of differentiation and lipogenesis in obese rats fed a high-fat diet.J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Feb 20; 61(7):1493-500.JA
Monascus-fermented monascin and ankaflavin are found to strongly inhibit differentiation and lipogenesis and stimulate lipolysis effects in a 3T3-L1 preadipocyte model, but the in vivo regulation mechanism is unclear. This study uses obese rats caused by a high-fat diet to examine the effects of daily monascin and ankaflavin feeding (8 weeks) on antiobesity effects and modulation of differentiation, lipogenesis, and lipid absorption. The results show that monascin and ankaflavin had a significant antiobesity effect, which should result from the modulation of monascin and ankaflavin on the inhibition of differentiation by inhibiting CCAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) expression (36.4% and 48.3%) and its downstream peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) (55.6% and 64.5%) and CCAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) expressions (25.2% and 33.2%) and the inhibition of lipogenesis by increasing lipase activity (14.0% and 10.7%) and decreasing heparin releasable lipoprotein lipase (HR-LPL) activity (34.8% and 30.5%). Furthermore, monascin and ankaflavin are the first agents found to suppress Niemann-Pick C1 Like 1 (NPC1L1) protein expression (73.6% and 26.1%) associated with small intestine tissue lipid absorption. Importantly, monascin and ankaflavin are not like monacolin K, which increases creatine phosphokinase (CPK) activity, known as a rhabdomyolysis indicator.