Antiobesity effects of seedlac and shellac in rats fed with a high-fat diet

Asie Poorassar, Mohammad Reza Shams Ardekani, Valiollah Hajhashemi , Roja Rahimi, Mehran Mirabzadeh Ardakani, Mohammadreza Aghayeghazvin



Background and purpose: Obesity is a global health problem and also a well-known risk for many diseases. Although some synthetic drugs have been marketed for the treatment of obesity, natural remedies                       may be considered as safe and cost-effective alternatives. Lac (Kerria lacca Kerr) is a product from                animal origin and is sold as seedlac or shellac. This drug is very famous among Unani practitioners for                 its antiobesity effects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antiobesity potential of lac in rats.

Experimental approach: The effect of lac on rats fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) was investigated                   through determination of the changes in body weight, and serum levels of leptin. In addition, the effect of                  lac on total cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) was studied. Male Wistar rats (170-220 g) were divided into eight groups;  a control group with normal diet, the HFD group received a HFD, and the experimental groups received             the HFD containing 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4% (w/w) of seedlac or 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4% (w/w) of shellac for 12 weeks. The body weight of each rat was measured once a week. At the end of the experiment,                           animals were sacrificed and serum concentrations of cholesterol, TG, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and leptin were determined.

Results: The study showed that seedlac and shellac significantly prevented increasing body weight                      and the levels of serum leptin were decreased in treated groups compared with HFD group. Also, shellac decreased TG level and both shellac and seedlac exerted a significant increase in HDL-C concentration.

Conclusion and implications: Lac had weight-reducing properties and could be a promising alternative              for controlling obesity.


Leptin; Obesity; Seedlac; Shellac.

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