Caralluma fimbriata Wall. is currently used as a "natural slimming" food supplement, likely due to its content in pregnane glycosides. In the present study, a commercially available Caralluma fimbriata extract (Slimaluma®; CFE, 100 mg/kg) has been evaluated for its ability to affect the ingestive behaviour in female rats, also with reference to the modulation of the brain neuropeptides NPY and ORX.The interference of CFE with α-amylase and lipase enzymes has been investigated in vitro, as possible peripheral mechanism of action. Also, the chemical composition of CFE has been assessed by NMR and spectrophotometric analysis. Results from in vivo study showed that CFE induced effects neither on blood parameters, nor on liver and gut histomorphology. Interestingly, a reduction in body weight gain with an increase in water intake and hypothalamic levels of NPY and ORX peptides were found. Phytochemical analysis, showed CFE contained about 12% of pregnane glycosides and 1.3% of polyphenols. Present results suggest possible effects of C. fimbriata on ingestive behaviour, likely mediated by central and peripheral mechanisms.
Keywords: Metabolomic analysis; Neuropeptide Y; Orexin; Pregnane glycosides; Slimming products; Water intake.
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