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Antiglycation and antioxidant properties of Momordica charantia

Aljohi, A and Matou-Nasri, S and Ahmed, N (2016) Antiglycation and antioxidant properties of Momordica charantia. PLoS One, 11 (8). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

The accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and oxidative stress underlie the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. In many developing countries, diabetes treatment is unaffordable, and plants such as bitter gourd (or bitter melon; Momordica charantia) are used as traditional remedies because they exhibit hypoglycaemic properties. This study compared the antiglycation and antioxidant properties of aqueous extracts of M. charantia pulp (MCP), flesh (MCF) and charantin in vitro. Lysozyme was mixed with methylglyoxal and 0–15 mg/ml of M. charantia extracts in a pH 7.4 buffer and incubated at 37°C for 3 days. Crosslinked AGEs were assessed using gel electrophoresis, and the carboxymethyllysine (CML) content was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The antioxidant activities of the extracts were evaluated using assays to assess DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl) and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities, metal-chelating activity and reducing power of the extracts. The phenolic, flavonol and flavonoid content of the extracts were also determined. All extracts inhibited the formation of crosslinked AGEs and CML in a dose-dependent manner, with MCF being the most potent. The antioxidant activity of MCF was higher than that of MCP, but MCP showed the highest metal-chelating activity. MCF had the highest phenolic and flavonoid contents, whereas MCP had the highest flavonol content. M. charantia has hypoglycaemic effects, but this study shows that M. charantia extracts are also capable of preventing AGE formation in vitro. This activity may be due to the antioxidant properties, particularly the total phenolic content of the extracts. Thus, the use of M. charantia deserves more attention, as it may not only reduce hyperglycaemia but also protect against the build-up of tissue AGEs and reduce oxidative stress in patients with diabetes.

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