Effect of Myristica fragrans Extract on Food Intake and Body Weight in Experimental Models
Dr. Anusha Dakshinamoorthi,
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (DU), Chennai-600116, Tamil Nadu, India.
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Introduction: Myristica fragrans (Mace) is one of the commonly used Indian spices. It was used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems, rheumatism, hyperlipidaemia, diarrhoea and insomnia. More food intake than required on a daily basis, can lead to overweight Body Mass Index (BMI 25-30) or Obesity (BMI >30). Herbal supplements and diet based therapies for weight loss are among the most common in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) modalities. Myristica fragrans (M. fragrans) contains Tetrahydrofuran (THF), Lignans. Saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, tannins and terpenoids. These chemical compounds are believed to have anti-obesity properties. Hence, Mace extract was selected to observe its effect on food intake and body weight.
Aim: To evaluate the effect of M. fragrans extract on food intake and body weight in normal and obese wistar albino rats.
Materials and Methods: Healthy albino rats (male/female) weighing between 150-180 gm were selected and randomly divided into five groups with six rats each. Body weight of all rats was recorded on day one. From day one to day 35 (five weeks), Body weight (BW) and Food intake (FI) capacity of an individual rat per day and for 35 days was measured in all the groups before treatment with M. fragrans extract. Group-I (Control) was treated with standard pellet diet and normal saline, Group-II (Test 1) with M. fragrans extract 200 mg/kg and Group-III (Test 2) with Myristica fragrans Extract (MFE) 400 mg/kg for 35 days (day 36 to day 70). Group IV (Test 3) and V (Test 4) were given Cafeteria Diet (CD) to induce obesity for first five weeks and last five weeks treated with M. fragrans Extract in the doses of 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg respectively. On day 70, FI capacity and BW of each rat was measured statistically using SPSS Statistics 20.0 (IBM software) for the analysis. Animals were observed for FI capacity and BW for 70 days (first 35 days and last 35 days).
Results: Repeated measures one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that, after 35 days of treatment (between 36-70 days), there was a significant reduction of FI capacity and BW in Group III and V, and slightly reduced in Group-II and IV in a dose dependent manner (p<0.01) but there was no difference in Group-I animals.
Conclusion: These results suggest that M. fragrans extract may have clinical value in the treatment of obesity due to its inhibitory effect on FI capacity (by inhibiting hunger sensory mechanism) and BW by inhibiting pancreatic lipase enzyme.