Stilbenes: Chemistry and Molecular Mechanisms of Anti-obesity

Ya Chun Chou, Chi Tang Ho, Min Hsiung Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Stilbenoids, a class of plant polyphenols abundant in berries, have been found to have many biological actions. Resveratrol, the most well-known of the stilbenes, is used for disease prevention, particularly for anti-obesity. Due to the low bioavailability of resveratrol, other stilbenes and their metabolites are also considered as candidates for anti-obesity. Obesity has numerous known causes, including genetics, diet, lifestyle, the endocrine system, and gut microbiota. Treating obesity can be rather problematic, with calorie intake reductions and increased physical exercise being difficult to maintain, medicines having side effects, and surgery being not suitable for all patients. Many stilbenes tested in animal studies have demonstrated beneficial effects, including reductions of lipid accumulation, regulation of glucose homeostasis, inflammation alleviation, and modulation of gut microbiota. This paper summarizes the molecular mechanisms of four major stilbenes used to treat obesity. Several pathways involved in regulation of fat metabolism affected by stilbenes, such as adipogenesis, lipogenesis, lipolysis, thermogenesis, and gut microbiota, will be introduced. In summary, stilbenes are promising for managing and treating obesity. A comparison of the physiological effects of various stilbenoids and other stilbene derivatives on obesity-associated diseases is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Pharmacology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


  • Anti-obesity
  • Stilbenes


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