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Br J Nutr. 2008 Apr;99(4):806-12. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) improves insulin sensitivity by increasing skeletal muscle insulin-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in high-fat-fed rats.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry-605 006, India. sridhar_biochem@yahoo.co.in

Abstract

The aim of this present study was to investigate the effect of bitter gourd extract on insulin sensitivity and proximal insulin signalling pathways in high-fat-fed rats. High-fat feeding of male Wistar rats for 10 weeks decreased the glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity compared to chow-fed control rats. Bitter gourd extract supplementation for 2 weeks (9th and 10th) of high-fat feeding improved the glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. In addition bitter gourd extract reduced the fasting insulin (43 (se 4.4) v. 23 (se 5.2) microU/ml, P < 0.05), TAG (134 (se 12) v. 96 (se 5.5) mg/dl, P < 0.05), cholesterol (97 (se 6.3) v. 72 (se 5.2) mg/dl, P < 0.05) and epidydimal fat (4.8 (se 0.29) v. 3.6 (se 0.24) g, P < 0.05), which were increased by high-fat diet (HFD). High-fat feeding and bitter gourd supplementation did not have any effect on skeletal muscle insulin receptor, insulin receptor subtrate-1 (IRS-1) and insulin- stimulated insulin receptor tyrosine phosphorylation compared to chow-fed control rats. However high-fat feeding for 10 weeks reduced the insulin-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation compared to control rats. Bitter gourd supplementation together with HFD for 2 weeks improved the insulin-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation compared to rats fed with HFD alone. Our results show that bitter gourd extract improves insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance and insulin signalling in HFD-induced insulin resistance. Identification of potential mechanism(s) by which bitter gourd improves insulin sensitivity and insulin signalling in high-fat-fed rats may open new therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity/dyslipidemia-induced insulin resistance.

PMID:
17942003
DOI:
10.1017/S000711450783176X
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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