Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) Targets Adipocytes and Obesity-Associated Inflammation - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Nutrients Year : 2023

Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) Targets Adipocytes and Obesity-Associated Inflammation

Rawan Nehme
  • Function : Author
Arthur Chervet
Caroline Decombat
Lucie Longechamp
  • Function : Author
Adrien Rossary
Rebecca Boutin
  • Function : Author
Amandine Rousset
  • Function : Author
François Senejoux
  • Function : Author
Caroline Vachias
  • Function : Author
Céline Auxenfans
Didier Fraisse
  • Function : Author
Jean-Baptiste Guyon
  • Function : Author
Edith Filaire
  • Function : Author
Jean-Yves Berthon
  • Function : Author
Mona Diab-Assaf
  • Function : Author
Laetitia Delort


Excess weight and obesity are the fifth leading cause of death globally, and sustained efforts from health professionals and researchers are required to mitigate this pandemic-scale problem. Polyphenols and flavonoids found in Aspalathus linearis—a plant widely consumed as Rooibos tea—are increasingly being investigated for their positive effects on various health issues including inflammation. The aim of our study was to examine the effect of Rooibos extract on obesity and the associated low-grade chronic inflammatory state by testing antioxidant activity, cytokine secretions, macrophage polarization and the differentiation of human adipocytes through the development of adipospheroids. Rooibos extract significantly decreased ROS production and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-12, IL-2 and IL-17a) in human leukocytes. Additionally, Rooibos extract down-regulated LPS-induced macrophage M1 polarization, shown by a significant decrease in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines: TNFα, IL-8, IL-6, IL-1β and CXCL10. In addition, Rooibos inhibited intracellular lipid accumulation and reduced adipogenesis by decreasing the expression of PPARγ, Ap2 and HSL in adipospheroids. A significant decrease in leptin expression was noted and this, more interestingly, was accompanied by a significant increase in adiponectin expression. Using a co-culture system between macrophages and adipocytes, Rooibos extract significantly decreased the expression of all studied pro-inflammatory cytokines and particularly leptin, and increased adiponectin expression. Thus, adding Rooibos tea to the daily diet is likely to prevent the development of obesity associated with chronic low-level inflammation.
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hal-04288740 , version 1 (16-11-2023)




Rawan Nehme, Arthur Chervet, Caroline Decombat, Lucie Longechamp, Adrien Rossary, et al.. Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) Targets Adipocytes and Obesity-Associated Inflammation. Nutrients, 2023, 15 (7), pp.1751. ⟨10.3390/nu15071751⟩. ⟨hal-04288740⟩
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