The effects of Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn) on metabolic syndrome: A review

Document Type: Review Article


1 Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Metabolic syndrome is described as a group of risk factors in which at least three unhealthy medical conditions, including obesity, high blood sugar, hypertension or dyslipidemia occur simultaneously in a patient. These conditions raise the risk for diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Many recent studies have focused on herbal remedies and their pharmacological effects on metabolic syndrome. Crataegus pinnatifida or Chinese hawthorn has been widely used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular diseases. Its leaves, fruits and seeds have various active substances such as, flavonoids, triterpenic acids and sesquiterpenes, which through different mechanisms can be beneficial in metabolic syndrome. Flavonoids found in the leaves of hawthorn can significantly reduce atherosclerotic lesion areas, the fruit extracts contain two triterpenic acids (oleanolic acid and ursolic acid), that have the ability to inhibit the acyl-coA-cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) enzyme and as a result reduce very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Another example regards a sesquiterpene found in the seeds of C. pinnatifida, which exhibits the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation, thus showing antithrombotic activity. Various studies have shown that C. pinnatifida can have beneficial effects on controlling and treating high blood sugar, dyslipidemia, obesity and atherosclerosis. The aim of this review is to highlight the interesting effects of C. pinnatifida on metabolic syndrome.


Main Subjects

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