Anti-obesity Effects of Corn Silk: A Scoping Review on its Mechanism of Action and Future Possibilities

Niharika Arya, Jyoti Singh and Sezai Ercisli


In the present-day, obesity is one of the major public health issues negatively impacting life expectancy. Anti-obesity treatment involves drug therapy, which also has complications and side effects when used for the long term hence, the demand for plant-based treatments in terms of food and drugs is increasing. Corn silk also known as Stigma maydis is a type of agricultural waste composed of a long, silky, hair-like structure ranging from yellowish to reddish in colour. It covers the edible portions of corn and is known to possess pharmacological properties including antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-fatigue, and anti-inflammatory effects. Traditionally, corn silk has been used to treat numerous types of illnesses. The current study is based on the anti-obesity effect of corn silk and its bioactive compounds, namely flavonoids, phenolic acid, flavones, volatile pigments, polyphenols, sterols, etc. In vitro and in vivo studies of corn silk showed adipogenesis, lipid metabolism and body weight management. Corn silk extracts can reduce body weight, suppress appetite, regulate lipid metabolism, and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, it reduces and inhibits adipose tissue formation and reduces the size of adipocytes and prevents excess fat accumulation. The anti-obesity effect of maize silk extract decreases the absorption of dietary fat and suppresses the formation of fatty acids. Corn silk inhibits the expression of adipogenic transcription factors like the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs) and prevents the differentiation of pre-mature adipocytes into mature adipocytes, it also suppresses the development of adipose tissue and the accumulation of excess fat. Corn silk suppresses the appetite by influencing the appetite-regulating hormone. In the current review, the anti-obesity effect and mechanism of corn silk are discussed, along with its effectiveness in managing obesity. The future perspective of corn silk anti-obesity effect provides a significant potential for combating global obesity and enhancing public health and wellness.

Published on: October 24, 2023
doi: 10.17756/jfcn.2023-s1-009
Citation: Arya N, Singh J, Ercisli S. 2023. Anti-obesity Effects of Corn Silk: A Scoping Review on its Mechanism of Action and Future Possibilities. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 9(S1): S51-S57.