Supplementation of bitter melon to rats fed a high-fructose diet during gestation and lactation ameliorates fructose-induced dyslipidemia and hepatic oxidative stress in male offspring

J Nutr. 2011 Sep;141(9):1664-72. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.142299. Epub 2011 Aug 3.


This study examined the impact of maternal high-fructose intake and if metabolic control in the offspring could benefit from supplementing bioactive food components such as bitter melon (BM) to the maternal diet. In Expt. 1, virgin female rats received control (C), high-fructose (F; 60%), or BM-supplemented fructose (FBM; 1%) diet before conception until d 21 of lactation. Weaned male offspring were fed the C diet for 11 wk, forming C/C, F/C, and FBM/C groups. The F/C group had elevated serum insulin, TG, and FFA concentrations and hepatic lipid alterations compared with the C/C and FBM/C groups (P < 0.05). The 2 latter groups did not differ. Expt. 2 had similar dam treatment groups, but offspring were weaned to the C or F diet, forming C/C, C/F, F/F, and FBM/F groups, and the dietary treatment was extended to 20 wk. The hepatic levels of stearyl-CoA desaturase and microsomal TG transfer protein mRNA were lower, but that of PPARγ coactivator 1-α and fibroblast growth factor 21 mRNA and fatty acid binding protein 1 protein were higher in the FBM/F group compared with the C/F and F/F groups (P < 0.05), indicating that maternal BM supplementation may reduce lipogenesis and promote lipid oxidation in offspring. The FBM/F group had significantly higher activities of liver glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase than the F/F group. The results indicate that supplementing BM to dams could offset the adverse effects of maternal high-fructose intake on lipid metabolism and antioxidant status in adult offspring.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Dyslipidemias / chemically induced*
  • Dyslipidemias / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Fructose / administration & dosage*
  • Fructose / adverse effects*
  • Lactation
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Momordica charantia*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Weaning


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Fructose