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Chalcones as potential inhibitors of pancreatic lipase
* 1 , 1, 2 , 1 , 1 , 3 , 4 , * 1
1  LAQV, REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Applied Chemistry, Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Portugal
2  CISQ, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of science and technology, University of La Rioja, Spain
3  UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Portugal
4  LAQV, REQUIMTE, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, Portugal
Academic Editor: Alfredo Berzal-Herranz


Obesity is a global disease that has been escalating to epidemic proportions over the past years. A recent report from World Obesity Federation predicts that, in 2030, 1 billion people will be obese. Thus, it is mandatory to develop new therapeutic options that are able to manage and control obesity. One of the most promising research paths is the inhibition of pancreatic lipase (PL), responsible for the hydrolysis of 50 to 70% of total dietary triglycerides. Chalcones are the precursors of flavonoids, consisting of two benzene rings connected by a three-carbon α, β-unsaturated carbonyl structure. The goal of the present work was to evaluate the activity of seven chalcones with hydroxy (OH) and chloride (Cl) substituents, as potential inhibitors of PL. For this purpose, spectrophotometric and fluorometric microanalysis systems were used, based on the enzymatic metabolization of p-nitrophenyl butyrate and 4-methylumbeliferyl oleate, respectively. The obtained results showed that chalcones inhibit PL activity, and that the fluorometric method is able to reach higher inhibition rates with less compound than the spectrophotometric method. These findings bring new insights into the structure design for the modulation of PL, but further studies are still needed to further explore these compounds as potential anti-obesity molecules.

Keywords: Obesity, Pancreatic lipase, Chalcones, Inhibition, Spectrophotometry, Fluorometry