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

  • M. G. Sridhar (a1), R. Vinayagamoorthi (a1), V. Arul Suyambunathan (a1), Z. Bobby (a1) and N. Selvaraj (a1)...

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) μU/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.

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*Corresponding author: Professor M. G. Sridhar, fax +9 413 2272067, email
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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