The Effect of Pumpkin on GLP-1 and HOMA-β in Hypercholesterolemic Rats

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Background and aim: High fat and fructose diet may impair β cell function through oxidative stress that is induced by subsequent hypercholesterolemia. The β cell function is usually quantified by homeostatic model assessment beta-cell function (HOMA-β). Oxidative stress may be decreased by β-carotene from pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of pumpkin powder on glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) level and HOMA-β in rats with high fat and fructose diet.

Material and method: A total 25 rats were administered a high fat and fructose diet during 25 days. They were divided into five groups 1) normal, 2) hypercholesterolemic rats 3) hypercholesterolemic rats with 0.16 g pumpkin/200g bodyweight (BW); 4) hypercholesterolemic rats with 0.32 g pumpkin/200 g BW, and 5) hypercholesterolemic rats with 0.64 g of pumpkin/200 g BW. The lipid levels were measured before and after administration of pumpkin for 4 weeks, and at the end of the study, GLP-1 level and HOMA-β were analyzed.

Results: Administration of pumpkin to the rats on a high fat and fructose diet reduced total cholesterol, triglyceride, and increased HDL levels. Changes were positively correlated with the amount of pumpkin intake. The decrease of cholesterol levels was positively associated with GLP-1 level, and negatively correlated with HOMA-β

Conclusions: This study suggested that pumpkin can improve the HOMA-β and decrease GLP-1 levels, possibly by reducing cholesterol levels.

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