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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 249-253

Momordica charantia (bitter melon) decreases serum/tissue lipid parameters in hyperammonemic rats

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
P Subramanian
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar - 608 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.114843

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Introduction: Ammonia is present in all living organisms as a byproduct of the degradation of proteins and other nitrogenous compounds. At high levels ammonia is toxic, causing functional disturbances in the central nervous system that could even lead to coma and death. The present study evaluates the efficacy of an ethanolic extract of Momordica charantia L. (MCE) fruits in decreasing serum and tissue lipids and body weight in rats with experimentally-induced hyperammonemia. Materials and Methods: Experimental hyperammonemia was induced in adult male Wistar rats (180-200 g) by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of ammonium chloride (100 mg/kg body weight) thrice a week. The effect of oral administration (thrice a week for eight consecutive weeks) of MCE (300 mg/kg body weight) on lipid profiles in serum and tissues (brain and liver) of normal and experimental animals were analyzed. Results and Discussion: The levels of serum and tissue cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and phospholipids were significantly increased in ammonium chloride - induced hyperammonemic rats. The administration of MCE to ammonium chloride - treated rats significantly restored all these changes to almost normal levels. Ammonium chloride - treated rats showed increases in body weight compared to the control rats. The exact mechanism of this antihyperlipidemic effect of MCE needs to be investigated and the active constituents identified and isolated.

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