Journal of ethnopharmacology

Anti-obesity and antihyperlipidaemic effect of Hunteria umbellata seed extract in experimental hyperlipidaemia.

PMID 20471465


In Nigerian folk medicine, water infusion of the dried seeds of Hunteria umbellata (K. Schum.) Hallier f. has a reputation for the local management of obesity and hyperlipidaemia. The present study is aimed at evaluating the anti-obesity and antihyperlipidaemic activities as well as the underlying mechanisms of action of the aqueous seed extract of Hunteria umbellata (HU) in normal, triton-induced, and olive oil-induced hyperlipidaemic rats. Normal and olive oil-induced hyperlipidaemic, and triton-induced hyperlipidaemic rats were pre-treated with single, daily oral administration of 10 ml/kg of distilled water, 20 mg/kg of simvastatin, 50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg of HU in 10 ml/kg of distilled water for 28 days and 24 h. The effects of these drugs on % body weight change, feeding pattern, serum lipids, coronary artery risk index (CRI) and atherogenic index (AI) and Lee's index (LI) were investigated. Oral pre-treatment with simvastatin and graded oral doses of HU significantly (p<0.05) reduced the weight gain pattern and caused dose related (p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.001) reductions in the serum lipids, CRI, AI and LI. Also, HU pre-treatment significantly improved triton-induced hepatic histological lesions. Results of this study showed that HU has both anti-obesity and antihyperlipidaemic effects which may partly be mediated via inhibition of intestinal lipid absorption and de novo biosynthesis of cholesterol. Thus, the results justify the ethnopharmacological use of the extract in the management of obesity and hyperlipidaemia.

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