I don’t know many people who grew up eating mulberries and I’ve certainly never seen them for sale at Whole Foods (or even my local farmers market) but I love them. I have a couple friends who grew up with a tree in their yard and they tell me how fun it was to climb the tree and collect the fruit. They are delicious. But now, it seems they are more than just tasty.
A new study from the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found that mulberries may be key to new treatments for obesity. Rutin – a natural compound in mulberries, activates brown fat which in turn boosts metabolism and aids in weight loss. Adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity are important strategies that should be considered first when dealing with obesity but for some, these changes may not be enough- highlighting the need for alternative treatment methods.
From the article:
“For their study – published in The FASEB Journal – the team added rutin (1 milligram per milliliter) to the drinking water of two groups of mice.
One group of mice was genetically obese, while the other group had diet-induced obesity. Both groups of mice were fed a regular diet throughout the duration of the study.
In both groups of mice, rutin was found to activate brown adipose tissue (BAT), or brown fat, which led to increased energy expenditure, better glucose homeostasis – the balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain glucose levels – and fat reduction.”

Brown fat stores calories, is activated by cold, and burns energy and produces heat and the researchers in the study found that rutin acts the same way; by activating a specific signaling cascade, the activity of a gene called UCP1 increases as does the number of mitochondria in brown fat. And it’s in the activation of the brown fat that combating obesity begins. “Additionally, the team found that rutin triggered the formation of brown-like fat cells in subcutaneous adipose tissue – the fat located under the skin – in both mouse models of obesity,” reports the article.
Based on their results, Jin and his colleagues hope that rutin may offer a new treatment approach to obesity and other conditions associated with excess weight.
Source: Medical News Today