Extract of Gymnema sylvestre leaves was administered to rats receiving either a high fat diet or normal fat diet for 10 weeks to investigate its influence on plasma and liver lipids and on visceral fat accumulation. In addition, its effect was compared with those of chitosan and the influence of combined use of these two substances was also evaluated. Within the high fat diet groups, the extract suppressed body weight gain and accumulation of liver lipids to the same extent as chitosan and the combined use. In addition, intraperitoneal fat and fat drop vacuoles on the epithelium of renal tubules, noted in the high fat diet group, were scattered by administration of the extract with the same results as for chitosan and combined use. Within the normal fat diet groups, plasma triglyceride levels decreased by administration of the extract, with similar results as chitosan and combined use. Concerning plasma total cholesterol, there was no decreasing effects with the extract, as found with chitosan and combined use. However, the effect of chitosan on plasma total cholesterol tended to be enhanced when used in combination with the extract. In addition, long-term administration of the extract did not show any influence on hematological and blood chemical parameters.
2001 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan