Journal of

Journal of Human Health Research

Current Issue Volume No: 1 Issue No: 1

ISSN: 2576-9383
share this page

Research Article Open Access
  • Available online freely Peer Reviewed
  • Comparative Study of Hypolipidemic Effects of Momordica Charantia (Karela) with Atorvastatin in Fat Fed Rats

    Zinat Rehana Sharmin 1   Muqbula Tasrin Akter 2   Rifayet Rahman 3   Mahbubul Hoque 4   Ismail Khan 5   Abu Syed Md. Mosaddek 6  

    1Department of Pharmacology, Uttara Adhunik Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh , Email: [email protected]

    2Department of Pharmacology, Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College, Gajipur, Bangladesh, [email protected]

    3Department of Pharmacology, Green Life Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, [email protected]

    4Department of Pharmacology, Popular Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email- [email protected]

    5Chittagong Medical University, Chittagong. Bangladesh

    6Department of Pharmacology, Uttara Adhunik Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: [email protected]



    Disorders of lipid metabolism are manifested by elevation of the plasma concentration of the various lipid and lipoprotein fractions and the result, predominantly cardiovascular diseases. Lipid research clinic’s coronary primary prevention trial has provided useful information on the reduction of plasma cholesterol level in hyperlipidemic subjects by diet and drug therapy and thus the reduction in risk of myocardial infarction and death. Conventional lipid lowering drugs are used for lowering lipid level. But in the last few years’ herbal drugs are gaining popularity in the management of hyperlipidemia. In this study we compare the hypolipidemic effect of MomordicaCharantia (MC) with atorvastatin, a commonly used hypolipidemic drug.


    The present experimental study was done in the pharmacology department of Dhaka Medical College during the period of July, 2011 to June, 2012. For this study a total number of 30 Norwegian rats of either sex were selected. They were divided into 5 groups each comprises of 6 rats. In the experiment group A was given normal diet with high fatty diet (1.5 ml olive oil plus 1% cholesterol) which was control group and other experimental groups (B,C,D,) were allowed to feed a high fatty diet along with fresh juice of MomordicaCharantia (in different doses) for 10 days. Another experimental group, E was given high fatty diet along with atorvastatin (0.14mg/kg/day) for 10 days. Rats were sacrificed on 11th day and blood was collected by cardiac puncture for estimation of serum lipid profile.


    After administration of fatty diet in group A for 10 days, there was significant increased total cholesterol (TCL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride (TG) levels. Concomitant administration of fatty diet and fresh juice of MC (in different doses) daily for 10 days in group B,C,D reduced serum TCL, LDL and TG levels which was more significant in higher doses in comparison to atorvastatin given group E.


    The present study provides a rationale for use a new herbal medicine much needed for the reduction of serum lipid levels.MomordicaCharantia could be useful in hyperlipidemic conditions. They are as effective as a standard lipid lowering agent- atorvastatin.

    Author Contributions
    Received 16 Oct 2017; Accepted 05 Nov 2017; Published 11 Nov 2017;

    Academic Editor: Jong In Kim, Wonkwang University

    Checked for plagiarism: Yes

    Review by: Single-blind

    Copyright ©  2017 Zinat Rehana Sharmin, et al.

    Creative Commons License     This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Competing interests

    The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


    Zinat Rehana Sharmin, Muqbula Tasrin Akter, Rifayet Rahman, Mahbubul Hoque, Ismail Khan et al. (2017) Comparative Study of Hypolipidemic Effects of Momordica Charantia (Karela) with Atorvastatin in Fat Fed Rats. Journal of Human Health Research - 1(1):11-15.

    Download as RIS, BibTeX, Text (Include abstract )

    DOI 10.14302/issn.2576-9383.jhhr-17-1816


    Disorders of lipid metabolism are manifested by elevation of the plasma concentration of the various lipid and lipoprotein fractions (total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, very low density lipoprotein and triglyceride) and they result predominantly cardiovascular diseases1. Coronary heart disease is the commonest form of heart disease and the single most important cause of premature death in the developed world. The death rates from CHD in the United Kingdom are among the highest in the world. Unfortunately the incidence of the condition is increasing rapidly in Eastern Europe and many developing countries like Bangladesh2. Lipid research clinic’s coronary primary prevention trial has provided useful information on the reduction of plasma cholesterol level in hyperlipidemic subjects by diet and drug therapy and thus the reduction in risk of myocardial infarction and death3. Reductase inhibitor, niacin, fibrate are the drugs used for lowering the lipid level. But these drugs are costly and toxic. Therefore studies are still going on in search of more potent, less toxic, cheaper and easily available hypolipidemic agent. Plants have been used as source of medicine throughout human history and they continue to serve as the basis for many pharmaceuticals used today4. So many research works have been done on various herbal agents such as MomordicaCharantia (karela), garlic oil, onion, chatharanthus roseus, etc5. Among these we choose MomordicaCharantia to compare its hypolipidemic effects with that of atorvastatin.MomordicaCharantia is called bitter melon, bitter gourd in English, is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. It is commonly known as karela in our country6. In addition to culinary usage bitter melon is also used in folklore medicine. The seeds, fruits, leaves and root of the plant have been used in traditional medicine for microbial infections, sluggish digestion and intestinal gas, menstrual stimulation, wound healing and inflammation7. Documentation has found that MomordicaCharantia possess blood glucose lowering effect8,9, hypolipidemic effect10,antiviral effect11, anti helminthic12 ,antioxidant13and anticancer effect14. The recent research focus has shifted to explore the hypolipidemic effect ofMomordicaCharantia in comparison to atorvastatin, a hypolipidemic drug.

    Materials and Methods:

    A total number of 30 Norwegian rats of either sex and weighting 150-200g were selected for the experimental study performed in pharmacology department of Dhaka Medical College (DMC) from July, 2011 to June, 2012.

    They were divided into 5 groups with each group comprising of 6 rats. They were treated for 10 days and sacrificed on 11th day.

    Preparation of MomordicaCharantia Juice

    Fresh fruits were bought from the local market. Fruits were authenticated from National Herbarium, Mirpur, Dhaka. The DACB accession number is 36525. The fruits were crushed through a shell and mortar. After removal of the seeds the juice were filtered through fine cloths to remove debris.


    In the experiment, 30 rats were equally divided into group A, B, C, D, E. Group A served as fat fed control group who received normal diet and fatty diet (1.5 ml olive oil plus 1% cholesterol15) for 10 days. Group B, C, D served as fat fed experimental group where they received fatty diet along with fresh juice of MomordicaCharantia for 10 days at different doses. Group B received 0.5 ml/kg MC juice, group C received 1.0 ml/kg MC juice and group D received 1.5 ml/kg MC juice per day. Group E is the fat fed experimental group which received fatty diet along with atorvastatin (0.14mg/kg/day). After treating those for 10 days rats were sacrificed on the 11th day and blood was collected by cardiac puncture for estimation of serum lipid profile. The doses were adjusted according to previous work16.


    Sera were obtained. Subsequently, serum total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels were measured by enzymatic colorimetric method in the department of pharmacology and therapeutics, Dhaka Medical College, using lipid profile kits.

    Data Collection and Analysis

    All relevant information of each rat was recorded in a predesigned data collection sheet. Collected data were screened, complied and appropriate statistical analysis, unpaired student’s ‘t’ tests, was applied using computer based software. P value < 0.05 was taken as minimum level of significance.


    Here the effects of extract of M.Charantiaat different doses in group B, C and D on lipid levels of fat fed rats were observed.

    The mean TCL in group A,B,C,D,E were 141.50 ± 2.66, 139.50 ± 3.39, 135.50 ± 4.64, 65.83 ± 29.23 mg/dl, 63.67 ± 3.78 respectively. Serum TCL decreased significantly in group C, D, E.

    The mean LDL in group A,B,C,D,E were 79.83 ± 2.40, 74.50 ± 4.64, 76.00 ± 3.46, 32.00 ± 3.29 and 27.50 ± 1.76mg/dl respectively.

    The mean HDL in group A,B,C,D,E were 30.83 ± 1.47, 31.33 ± 2.25, 30.50 ± 2.66, 31.17 ± 2.99 mg/dl and 37.00±3.03, respectively.

    The mean triglyceride levels in group A, B,C,D,E were 109.00 ± 3.22, 103.50 ± 3.27, 94.67 ± 4.27, 95.67 ± 4.41 mg/dl and 84.67 ± 4.89, respectively.

    Table 1. Mean lipid profile of different groups of rats
    Group N=6 TCL (mg/dl) LDL (mg/dl) HDL (mg/dl) TG (mg/dl)
    Group A 141.50 ± 2.66 79.83 ± 2.40 30.83 ± 1.47 109.00 ± 3.22
    Group B 139.50 ± 3.39ns 74.50 ± 4.64* 31.33 ± 2.25* 103.50 ± 3.27*
    Group C 135.50 ± 4.64* 76.00 ± 3.46ns 30.50 ± 2.66ns 94.67 ± 4.27***
    Group D 65.83 ± 29.23*** 32.00 ± 3.29*** 31.17 ± 2.99ns 95.67 ± 4.41***
    Group E 63.67 ± 3.78*** 27.50 ± 1.76*** 37.00 ± 3.03*** 84.67 ± 4.89***

    Data expressed as mean ± SD
    * P < 0.05 is significant
    *** P < 0.001 taken as highly significant


    The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of MomordicaCharantia on serum lipid levels in comparison to atorvastatin. In the present work hyperlipidemia was induced in rats by administration of 1.5 ml olive oil with 1% cholesterol for 10 days. The hyperlipidemia was evidenced by significant increase in serum TCL, LDL and TG levels. Similar observations were made by a number of researchers, who demonstrated hyperlipidemia by administering 1.5 ml olive oil solution containing vitamin D3 and cholesterol for consecutive 5 days. In their studies they got the similar results. Serum TCL, LDL and TG levels increased significantly (P <0.05)17. In another study they demonstrated hyperlipidemia in adult long evans rats by administering 1.5 ml olive oil and 1% cholesterol for 10 days. They showed that fatty diet increased total serum cholesterol, LDL and VLDL significantly (P< 0.001)15.

    In this study concomitant administration of fresh juice ofMomordicaCharantia and fatty diet (olive oil plus cholesterol) daily orally for 10 days reduced serum TCL, LDL and TG levels. The reduction was highly significant in comparison to hyperlipidemic control group, which was best observed at the higher doses (1.0 ml/kg/day and 1.5 ml/kg/day) of MC and atorvastatin treated group. It was observed that the serum TCL levels significantly decreased in group C (P <0.05), D (P < 0.001) and E (P<0.001) compared to group A and the serum LDL levels significantly reduced in group B (P < 0.05), D (P < 0.001) and E (P<0.001) compared to group A. No significant change of serum HDL levels was observed in group C and D but significantly increased in group B (P < 0.05) and group E (P<0.001). The serum TG levels reduced significantly in group B (P < 0.05), C (P < 0.001), D (P < 0.001) and E (P<0.001).

    Figure 1. Bar diagram showing serum lipid levels in different groups of rats
     Bar diagram showing serum lipid levels in different groups of rats

    The reduction of serum TCL, LDL and TG by higher doses of MomordicaCharantia (1.0ml/kg and 1.5ml/kg) were almost similar to that of atorvastatin. As far as our knowledge goes, no other work has been carried out on this aspect of M.Charantia in our country. Further investigations identify the hypolipidemic active principles and elucidate their mechanism of action. The present study provides an initial step in demonstrating juice of M.Charantia as effective as atorvastatin in hyperlipidemic states. Thus it could be a new agent in reducing morbidity and mortality resulting from dyslipidemia.


    Inpresent study we compared the hypolipidemic effects of M.Charantia with a standard known hypolipidemic agent atorvastatin. Thus it could be useful in hyperlipidemic conditions. Purpose of this study is to introduce herbal agents instead of costly and toxic drugs. But before stablising M.Charantia juice as a therapeutically effective hypolipidemic agent, further studied should be carried out to determine the active principles responsible for hypolipidemic effect and its cellular mechanism of action.


    1.Bennett P N, Brown M J. (2002) Hyperlipidemias. In: clinical pharmacology. 9th ed. , Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone 521-8.
    2.Boon N A, KAA Fox. (2002) Diseases of the cardiovascular system. In:Edwards CRW,Bouchier I,Haslets C,Chilvers E,editors.Davidson’s principles and practice of medicine. 19th ed. , Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone 358-479.
    3.Konno H, Yasni Y, Suzuki R, Hosokawa M, Miyashita K. (2004) Diatery seed oil rich in conjugated linoleic acid from bitter melon inhibits azoxymethane-induced rat colon carcinogenesis through elevation of colonic PRAR expression and alteration of lipid composition. , International journal of cancer; 110, 896-901.
    4.Newman D J, Cragg G M. (2007) Natural products as sources of new drugs over the last 25 years. , J Nat Prod 70, 461-477.
    5.Hoeg J M, Richard E, Brewew H B. (1986) An approach to the management of hyperlipoprotinemia. , JAMA; 255, 511-521.
    6.Grover J K, Ya dav SP. (2004) Pharmacological action and potential uses of Momordica charantia: A review”. , Journal of Ethnopharmacology 93(1), 123-132.
    7.Paul A, Raychaudhuri S S.Medicinal uses and molecular identification of two Momordica charantia varieties-a review. , Electronic journal of Biology 6(2), 43-51.
    8.Chaturvedi P, George S, Milinganyo M. (2004) Effect of Momordica charantia on serum lipid profile and oral glucose tolerance in diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 18, 954-956.
    9.Islam D, Lipy E P, Rahman S, Mohanta L C, Babi K N. (2004) Comparative study between the effect of Momordica charantia (Wild Type) Fruits and Coccinia cordifolia’s leaf on hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities of Alloxan induced type 2 diabetic long-evans rats. , Journal of Diabetes Mellitus; 4, 115-123.
    10.Saha S K, MdE Haque, Islam D, MdM Rahman, MdR Islam et al. (2012) . Comparative Study between the Effect of Momordica charantia (Wild and Hybrid Variety) on Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Activity of Alloxan Induced Type2DiabeticLong-EvansRats. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus;2: 131-137.
    11.Chen Q, Chan L L, Li E T. (2003) Bitter melon (M.C) reduces adipocity, lower serum insulin and normalizes glucose in rats fed a high fat diet. , J Nutr; 133, 1088-1093.
    12.Chariyakul W J, Wiwat C, Vongsakul M. (2001) HIV inhibitor from thai bitter gourd”. Planta Med. 67(4), 350-3.
    13.Liu C, Yen M, Tsang S, Gan K, Hsu H et al. (2010) Antioxidant triterpenoids from the stem of Momordica charantia . Food Chem. Toxicol. 11, 751-756.
    14.Belion N, Gbeassor M, Akpagana K, Hudson J, K De Soussa et al. (2005) Ethnomedicinal uses of Momordica charantia in togo and relation to its phytochemistry and biological activity”. , Journal of Ethnopharmacology;96(1-2): 49-55.
    15.Sabina J. (2004) A study on the effect of Catharanthus Roseus Linn on serum lipid profile in fat fed rats. M phil thesis.Dhaka:University of Dhaka.
    16.Anita B S, Okokon J E. (2005) Effect of leaf juice of Catharanthus roseus Linn. On cholesterol, triglyceride and lipoprotein levels in normal rats. , IndJPharmacol 37, 401-2.
    17.Lata S, kk Saxwena, Bhavin V, Saxena R S, Kumar A et al.Beneficial effect of Allium sativa, Allium cepa and Commiphora mukul on experimental hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis: A comparative evaluation. , J postgrad Med.1991; 37, 132-5.

    Cited by (3)

    1.Onoja Samuel O., Daniel-Igwe Gloria, Ejiofor Emmanuel, Mbakwe Christiana C., Okeke Ugochuhwu S., et al, 2019, Hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective and anti-lipid peroxidation properties of a methanol extract of Paullinia pinnata root-bark, in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic rats, Current Issues in Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, 32(3), 125, 10.2478/cipms-2019-0023
    2.Gayathry K. S., John Jenny Ann, 2022, A comprehensive review on bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) as a gold mine of functional bioactive components for therapeutic foods, Food Production, Processing and Nutrition, 4(1), 10.1186/s43014-022-00089-x
    3.Bora Awa Fanny Massounga, Kouame Kouadio Jean Eric-Parfait, Li Xiaodong, Liu Lu, Pan Yue, 2023, New insights into the bioactive polysaccharides, proteins, and triterpenoids isolated from bitter melon (Momordica charantia) and their relevance for nutraceutical and food application: A review, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 231(), 123173, 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2023.123173