Obesity and obesity-related complications are on the increase both in the developed and developing world. Since existing pharmaceuticals fail to come up with long-term solutions to address this issue, there is an ever-pressing need to find and develop new drugs and alternatives. Natural products, particularly medicinal plants, are believed to harbor potential antiobesity agents that can act through various mechanisms either by preventing weight gain or promoting weight loss amongst others. The inhibition of key lipid and carbohydrate hydrolyzing and metabolizing enzymes, disruption of adipogenesis, and modulation of its factors or appetite suppression are some of the plethora of targeted approaches to probe the antiobesity potential of medicinal plants. A new technology such as metabolomics, which deals with the study of the whole metabolome, has been identified to be a promising technique to probe the progression of diseases, elucidate their pathologies, and assess the effects of natural health products on certain pathological conditions. This has been applied to drug research, bone health, and to a limited extent to obesity research. This paper thus endeavors to give an overview of those plants, which have been reported to have antiobesity effects and highlight the potential and relevance of metabolomics in obesity research.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.