Obesity is not only viewed as a chronic aggressive disorder but is also associated with an increased risk for various diseases. Nonetheless, new anti-obesity drugs are an urgent need since few pharmacological choices are available on the market. Natural compounds have served as templates for drug discovery, whereas modified molecules from the leads identified based on in vitro models often reveal noncorresponding bioactivity between in vitro and in vivo studies. Therefore, to provide inspiration for the exploration of innovative anti-obesity agents, recent discoveries of natural anti-obesity compounds with in vivo evidence have been summarized according to their chemical structures, and the comparable efficacy of these compounds is categorized using animal models. In addition, several synthetic derivatives optimized from the phytochemicals are also provided to discuss medicinal chemistry achievements guided by natural sources.
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