Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Nutr. 2005 May;93(5):747-54.

Reduced adiposity in bitter melon (Momordica charantia) fed rats is associated with lower tissue triglyceride and higher plasma catecholamines.

Author information

Food and Nutritional Science Program, Department of Zoology, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, The People's Republic of China.


Slower weight gain and less visceral fat had been observed when rats fed a high-fat diet were supplemented with freeze-dried bitter melon (BM) juice; the metabolic consequences and possible mechanism(s) were further explored in the present study. In a 4-week experiment, rats were fed a low-fat (70 g/kg) or a high-fat (300 g/kg) diet with or without BM (7.5 g/kg or 0.75%). BM-supplemented rats had lower energy efficiency, visceral fat mass, plasma glucose and hepatic triacylglycerol, but higher serum free fatty acids and plasma catecholamines. In the second experiment, 7-week BM supplementation in high-fat diet rats led to a lowering of hepatic triacylglycerol (P<0.05) and steatosis score (P<0.05) similar to those in rats fed a low-fat diet. BM supplementation did not affect serum and hepatic cholesterol. However, plasma epinephrine and serum free fatty acid concentrations were increased (P<0.05). In the third experiment, BM(7.5 and 15 g/kg) and 1.5 % BM lowered triacylglycerol concentration in red gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior (P<0.05) muscle, but a dose-response effect was not observed. These data suggest that chronic BM feeding leads to a general decrease in tissue fat accumulation and that such an effect is mediated in part by enhanced sympathetic activity and lipolysis. BM or its bioactive ingredient(s) could be used as a dietary adjunct in the control of body weight and blood glucose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center