The Comparative Effect of Nopal and Mucilage in Metabolic Parameters in Rats with a High-Fructose Diet

J Med Food. 2019 May;22(5):538-541. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2018.0124. Epub 2019 Mar 12.


Nopal is used in Mexico as both food and traditional medicine for metabolic diseases. Our aim was to analyze the effect of the chronic administration of mucilage fiber extracted from nopal (Opuntia ficus indica; 500 mg/kg body weight per day) on male Wistar rats on a high-fructose diet (HFD). After which three groups were administered one of the following for 30 days: whole-fresh nopal mixed in water, mucilage, and control. Metabolic and hemodynamic parameters (triglycerides, cholesterol, fasting glucose, oral glucose tolerance test, blood pressure, and abdominal circumference) were determined. Rats administered nopal and mucilage had lower levels of triglycerides and diastolic arterial pressure than control, but only nopal had significant differences. Furthermore, systolic and diastolic pressure were higher in the control group. Thus, whole nopal and mucilage improve metabolic parameters in rats fed a HFD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Fructose / adverse effects*
  • Fructose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Opuntia / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triglycerides
  • Fructose
  • Cholesterol