Carob extract may enhance recovery from metabolic syndrome, study finds

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | JNemchinova
Getty | JNemchinova

Related tags carob Weight management

Pharmative’s CSAT+ carob extract was found to significantly increase weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity in a study in mice, when paired with a reduced calorie diet.

The study, funded by Pharmactive Biotech Products, found that the CSAT+ supplementation improved liver and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity in mice with metabolic syndrome (MetS), compared with the control group.

The researchers specify that “insulin resistance is at the center of most of the cardiometabolic alterations associated with this syndrome”, ​highlighting the significance of these findings for the potential treatment of MetS.

Markers of Metabolic Syndrome

MetS is a highly prevalent and complex disease, characterised by a myriad of risk factors which have been found to strongly correlate with Western diets and lifestyles. These factors, including dyslipidaemia, obesity and hypertension, are known to predispose sufferers for the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

The metabolic alterations associated with insulin resistance mirror the risk factors of MetS, such as increased production of very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-c) and serum triglycerides. These alterations also extend to the cardiovascular system, resulting in endothelial dysfunction, increased proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, renal sodium retention, altered membrane ion transport, sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity.

Therefore, targeting the treatment of insulin resistance represents a significant area of research into treatment of this widespread disease of the modern world.

Study Outline

The study involved inducing MetS in 60 mice by administering high fat/high sucrose (HFHS) diets over a 23-week period, validated by the presence of certain risk factors including hyperglycaemia, raised circulating levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL-c), and hypertension.

For two weeks, a control group remained on the HFHS diet whilst experimental groups were subject to reduced caloric intake, with one group also taking the supplement, one group taking part in aerobic training, and one group taking the supplements and taking part in aerobic training.

Whilst the lower calorie diet resulted in significant weight loss and an improved lipid profile, these factors were further exaggerated in the supplemented group with or without the aerobic training.

In addition to this, only the CSAT+ supplementation resulted in marked reductions in circulating triglycerides, increased circulating adiponectin, and lowered plasma levels of IL-6, whilst reducing the weight of epidydimal adipose tissue and improving insulin sensitivity in the liver and in skeletal muscle.

Supplementation also reduced obesity-induced hypertension, prevented endothelial dysfunction in mesenteric arteries, and decreased the vascular response of aorta segments to the vasoconstrictor AngII.

The Science of Carob

The effects on lipidic profiles resulting from the carob supplement has been previously observed, with hypothesises suggesting their abilities to reduce lipid absorption may be responsible.

In addition, the phenolic compounds present in the carob extract may be responsible for its’ previously reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, decreasing circulating IL-6 perhaps from the presence of compounds such as quercetin and gallic acid.

It is important to note that the findings of this study are not representative to a human population due to the use of the mice. Furthermore, the researchers highlight that a similar human study did not report the reductions in body weights as seen here. This suggests further randomised control trials are required to control for confounders, dosage and diet used, as well as longitudinal studies to assess whether these benefits are sustained over time.

Yet, this study shows clear reductions on measures of MetS prevalence, presenting an area for significant research into MetS treatment and utilisation of Pharmative’s CSAT+® for supplementation or utilisation as a functional food or beverage.


Source: MPDI: Antioxidants

“Carob Extract Supplementation Together with Caloric Restriction and Aerobic Training Accelerates the Recovery of Cardiometabolic Health in Mice with Metabolic Syndrome”

de la Fuente-Fernández, M., de la Fuente-Muñoz, M., Román-Carmena, M., Amor, S., García-Redondo, A.B., Blanco-Rivero, J., González-Hedström, D., Espinel, A.E., García-Villalón, Á.L. and Granado, M.,


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