Plant extract shows kidney-protective potential in obese, study finds

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

"The presence of these phytochemicals in Caralluma Fimbriata may be the most likely explanation for its protective effect against HF diet-induced metabolic alterations." ©Marco Schmidt/CC BY-SA 2.5
"The presence of these phytochemicals in Caralluma Fimbriata may be the most likely explanation for its protective effect against HF diet-induced metabolic alterations." ©Marco Schmidt/CC BY-SA 2.5

Related tags: Antioxidant

A plant extract has been shown to positively affect complications seen in obese individuals; particularly those linked to the kidney, such as insulin resistance and high blood sugars, a study has shown. 

Results from the study demonstrated that Caralluma Fimbriata (CFE), ​a plant extract belonging to the family Apocynaceae​, demonstrated antioxidant effects, which proved effective in reducing complications typically seen in the overweight and diabetic.

These complications include high blood sugars, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, and triglyceride levels.

CFE has previously demonstrated several phytotherapeutic properties against high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance in Wistar rats​.

Study details

rat experiment animal research science obesity fat weight iStock.com Argument
Previous studies have showed the extract's ability to prevent weight gain induced by a junk food (cafeteria) diet. ©iStock

Scientists from Sri Krishnadevaraya University in India took male Wistar rats and placed them into one of five experimental groups: control (C), control treated with CFE (C þ CFE), high-fat diet (HFD), high-fat diet treated with CFE (HFD þ CFE), and high-fat diet treated with metformin (HFD þ metformin).

The HF diet contained approximately 60 kcal% fat, 20 kcal% protein and 20 kcal% carbohydrate and was composed largely of casein, 200 g; sucrose, 68.8 g; maltodextrin-10, 125 g; cellulose, 50 g; soybean oil, 25 g; lard, 245 g and a mineral mix (S10026). The animals had access to normal drinking water at all the times.

CFE were given (200 mg/kg body weight) to groups C þ CFE and HFD þ CFE rats for 90 days. Indications of renal function including urea, uric acid, and creatinine levels were recorded during the study duration.

Indicators of stress including reduced glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and activities of antioxidant enzymes were measured in renal tissue.

Levels of the enzyme, transaminase were also noted as raised levels are considered a reliable indicator of renal damage.

“Phytochemical analysis of CFE showed an appreciable amount of polyphenolic compounds followed by saponins and flavonoids. Pregnane glycosides, flavanone glycosides, megastigmane glycosides, and saponins,”​ the study noted.

Polyphenol-rich extract

antioxidant health food balanced
Antioxidant activity has been noted in many plant-based foods and supplements. ©iStock

Experiments​of the weight-lowering effects of CFE have demonstrated its anti-hyperglycemic, lipid lowering, and antioxidant properties in rats fed a HF-diet.

The extract of this plant has also been widely recommended for diabetics due to its hypoglycaemic activity, more recently, in an animal study that showed its ability to prevent weight gain induced by a junk food (cafeteria) diet.

The study believed that the polyphenol content, which made up the majority of plant compounds seen in CFE, possessed the antioxidant activity.

Saponins have already been reported as having a broad range of biological activities due to its antioxidant activity. Flavonoids too have demonstrated beneficial effects in obesity and diabetes.

“The presence of these phytochemicals in CFE and synergism among these compounds may be the most likely option for the protective effect of CFE against HF diet induced metabolic alterations in the present study,”​ the study concluded.

Source: Journal of Food and Drug Analysis

Published online ahead of print: doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2016.01.013

​Renoprotective effect of Caralluma fimbriata against high-fat diet-induced oxidative stress in Wistar rats.”

Authors: Saralakumari Desireddy et al.

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