Mucuna pruriens treatment shows anti-obesity and intestinal health effects in obese rats†
This study evaluated the anti-obesity effect and intestinal health of obese rats treated with Mucuna pruriens (MP), focusing on food consumption and somatic, biochemical, and histological parameters. A total of 32 adult male Wistar rats were initially randomized into a healthy group (HG, n = 16) which consumed a control diet and an obese group (OG, n = 16) which consumed a cafeteria diet for eight weeks. They were then subdivided into four groups: healthy (HG, n = 8); healthy treated with MP (HGMP, n = 8); obese (OG, n = 8); obese treated with MP (OGMP, n = 8), with consumption of their respective diets continuing for another eight weeks; the treated groups received 750 mg kg−1 of MP extract via gavage. Food consumption and body weight were monitored weekly. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed, and feces were collected for bacterial count and quantification of organic acids. The rats were euthanized, their blood was collected for biochemical analysis, organs and adipose tissue for histological analysis and carcasses for body composition. The obsese rats showed a preference for processed meat, stuffed biscuits, popcorn, hot dog sausages, Bologna and ham. The OGMP exhibited lower caloric intake (17%), body weight (14%), fat mass (44%), triglycerides (68%), insulin (58%), leptin (40%), C-reactive protein (75%) and alpha1-glycoprotein acid (62%) and increased HDL (45%) compared to the OG. Moreover, MP reversed changes in liver and adipose tissues induced by obesity and increased counts of lactic acid bacteria and organic acids in feces. The MP treatment demonstrated an anti-obesity effect with improvement in body composition, biochemical profile, and intestinal health of obese rats.