Effect of methanolic seed extract of Momordica charantia on body weight and serum cholesterol level of male Sprague-Dawley rats.
BACKGROUND A steady weight increase disproportionate to height is by far the most prevalent type of body weight imbalance (overweight and obesity) in apparently healthy individuals of growing age. Many subsisting weight-reduction regimes or formulations are ineffective. Therefore, an effective and affordable weight-reduction product will add to the options available for the management of weight-related conditions. OBJECTIVE This study aimed to investigate the effects of graded oral doses of methanolic seed extract of Momordica charantia (MC) on the body weights and cholesterol levels of male rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS Twenty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats, weighing 176 +/- 70 g, were used for this study. The animals, divided randomly into 4 groups (A-D) received daily graded oral doses of 15, 25 and 50 mg/100 g body weight of methanolic seed extract of MC, respectively, while Group D rats had distilled water for 56 days. The weights of the animals in each group were recorded weekly throughout the duration of the experiment. Serum cholesterol levels were assayed from blood obtained from a left ventricular puncture. RESULTS Treatment of rats with MC extract resulted in a dose-dependent, statistically significant (p < 0.05; p < 0.01) reduction in the body weight compared to control. The mean serum cholesterol levels in response to graded doses of MC in the different groups A to C also showed a statistically significant decrease (p < 0.05) from the baseline control value of 4.4 +/- 1.0 mMol/L to 3.4 +/- 0.7, 2.5 +/- 0.4 and 2.0 +/- 1.3 mMol/L, respectively. CONCLUSIONS Present study demonstrated that MC caused dose-dependent reductions in body weight and serum cholesterol concentration in male Sprague-Dawley rats. MC may, therefore, be useful in controlling body weight increase in individuals of growing age as well as be a potential agent in the management of overweight and obesity.