Juice from leaves of cacti of the genus Pereskia: effect on the physiological parameters of Wistar rats

Débora Cristina Mariano Brasil Rafaela Marchiori Mariano do Val José Antônio de Souza Cruz Ramos Martha Elisa Ferreira de Almeida About the authors

Abstract

The objective was to evaluate whether the juice from the leaves of cacti of three species of the genus Pereskia promotes changes in the physiological parameters of Wistar rats. The study was divided into stage 1 (obesity induction with a hypercaloric diet, monosodium glutamate, and sucrose solution), and stage 2 (use of cactus juice). The data of body weight, Body Mass and Lee Indexes, feed intake, adipose tissue mass, and Visceral and Epididymal Fat Indexes were compared by the Tukey test at 5%. Monosodium glutamate and sucrose in association with the hypercaloric diet did not increase adipose tissues. No statistical difference was found between the means of body weight, Body Mass Index and Lee Index, liver weight, and Hepatosomatic Index. Pereskia grandifolia juice promoted a lower total weight gain due to the low feed intake. Pereskia aculeata juice increased the visceral adipose tissue mass. Thus, the Pereskia grandifolia juice presented a better effect on weight gain. These cacti are rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds that can improve food quality, and prevent chronic non-communicable diseases.

Keywords:
Pereskia grandifolia; Monosodium glutamate; Sucrose; Fat tissue

Resumo

O objetivo foi avaliar se o suco das folhas de cactáceas de três espécies do gênero Pereskia promove alterações dos parâmetros fisiológicos de ratos Wistar. O estudo foi dividido na etapa 1 (indução da obesidade com dieta hipercalórica, glutamato monossódico e solução de sacarose) e etapa 2 (utilização do suco das cactáceas). Os dados do peso corporal, Índices de Massa Corporal e de Lee, consumo alimentar, massa dos tecidos adiposos e seus Índices de Gordura Visceral e Epididimal foram comparados pelo Teste de Tukey a 5%. O glutamato monossódico e a sacarose em associação com a dieta hipercalórica não aumentaram os tecidos adiposos. Não houve diferença estatística entre as médias do peso corporal, Índice de Massa Corporal e Índice de Lee, peso hepático e o Índice Hepato-Somático. O suco da Pereskia grandifolia promoveu um menor ganho de peso total como resultado do baixo consumo alimentar. O suco da Pereskia aculeata aumentou a massa do tecido adiposo visceral. Concluiu-se que o suco da Pereskia grandifolia apresentou melhor efeito sobre o ganho de peso. Tais cactáceas são ricas em nutrientes e compostos bioativos que poderão melhorar a qualidade alimentar e prevenir doenças crônicas não transmissíveis.

Palavras-chave:
Pereskia grandifolia; Glutamato monossódico; Sacarose; Tecido adiposo

Introduction

Obesity is a worldwide public health problem, whose main causal factors are genetics, the environment with the intake of foods rich in lipids and carbohydrates, and sedentary behavior(11 Karri S, Sharma S, Hatware K, Patil KHK. Natural anti-obesity agents and their therapeutic role in management of obesity: a future trend perspective. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 2019;110:224-238.). Malnutrition, along with obesity and climate change has become a global syndemic(22 Swinburn BA, Kraak VI, Allende S, Atkins VJ, Baker PI, Bogard JR, et al. The global syndemic of obesity, undernutrition, and climate change: The Lancet Commission report. The Lancet Commissions, 2019;393:791-846.), which increases the risks for diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, and some neoplasia(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.).

Hypercaloric diets made with highly palatable foods such as chocolates, nuts, and condensed milk, which are rich in lipids and carbohydrates, are used to induce obesity in experimental models(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.). These diets are called cafeteria diet and can induce obesity in rats(44 Almeida MEF, Ferreira JT, Augusto-Obara TR, Cruz RG, Arruda HS, Santos VS, et al. Can lychee reducing the adipose tissue mass in rats? Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Curitiba, 2018;61:e18160483.), due to their physiological and metabolic similarity to humans(55 Damatta RA. Modelos animais na pesquisa biomédica. Scientia Medica, Rio Grande do Sul, 2010;20(3):210-211.). Monosodium glutamate alone or in association with sucrose solution also contributes to the induction of obesity in rats and mice, as it promotes excess adipose tissue(66 Diemen VD, Trindade EN, Trindade MRM. Experimental model to induce obesity in rats. Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira, São Paulo, 2006;21(6):425-429.,77 Malafaia AB, Nassif PAN, Ribas CAPM, Ariede BL, Sue KN, Cruz MA. Indução da obesidade com sacarose em ratos. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cirurgia Digestiva, São Paulo, 2013;26(1):17-21.) which is a biological marker of this pathology.

Brazil has a plant diversity with phytotherapeutic and pharmacological properties(88 Souza MC, Sartor CFP, Felipe DF. Comparação da ação antioxidante de uma formulação contendo extrato de Pereskia aculeata com cosméticos anti-idade presentes no mercado. Revista Saúde e Pesquisa, Maringá, 2013;6(3):461-477.,99 Garcia JAA, Corrêa RCG, Barros L, Pereira C, Abreu RMV, Alves MJ, et al. Phytochemical profile and biological activities of "Ora-pro-nobis" leaves (Pereskia aculeata Miller), an underexploited superfood from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Food Chemistry, 2019;294:302-308.). Plants of the genus Pereskia, belonging to the family Cactaceae, are native to the Brazilian flora and are found from the state of Bahia to Rio Grande do Sul(99 Garcia JAA, Corrêa RCG, Barros L, Pereira C, Abreu RMV, Alves MJ, et al. Phytochemical profile and biological activities of "Ora-pro-nobis" leaves (Pereskia aculeata Miller), an underexploited superfood from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Food Chemistry, 2019;294:302-308.,1010 Tofanelli MBD, Resende SG. Sistemas de condução na produção de folhas de ora-pro-nobis. Pesquisa Agropecuária Tropical, Goiânia, 2011;41(3):466-469.).

Pereskia, popularly known as ora-pro-nobis, rose cacti and leaf cacti, is a Non-Conventional Food Plant(1111 Almeida MEF. Non-Conventional Food Plants of the family Cactaceae: a healthy food option. EC Nutrition, 2017;7(3):84-85.), with high contents of proteins, fibers, minerals (iron and calcium), and bioactive compounds that prevent and treat diseases(99 Garcia JAA, Corrêa RCG, Barros L, Pereira C, Abreu RMV, Alves MJ, et al. Phytochemical profile and biological activities of "Ora-pro-nobis" leaves (Pereskia aculeata Miller), an underexploited superfood from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Food Chemistry, 2019;294:302-308.,1212 Almeida MEF, Junqueira AMB, Simão AA, Corrêa AD. Caracterização química das hortaliças não-convencionais conhecidas como ora-pro-nobis. Bioscience Journal, Uberlândia, 2014;30(3):431-439.). Its leaves are non-toxic(99 Garcia JAA, Corrêa RCG, Barros L, Pereira C, Abreu RMV, Alves MJ, et al. Phytochemical profile and biological activities of "Ora-pro-nobis" leaves (Pereskia aculeata Miller), an underexploited superfood from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Food Chemistry, 2019;294:302-308.) and can be used in salads, stews, pies(1313 Rocha DRC, Pereira GAJ, Vieira G, Pantoja L, Santos AS, Pinto NAVD. Macarrão adicionado de ora-pro-nóbis (Pereskia aculeata Miller) desidratado. Alimentos e Nutrição, Araraquara, 2008;19(4):459-465.), pasta(1313 Rocha DRC, Pereira GAJ, Vieira G, Pantoja L, Santos AS, Pinto NAVD. Macarrão adicionado de ora-pro-nóbis (Pereskia aculeata Miller) desidratado. Alimentos e Nutrição, Araraquara, 2008;19(4):459-465.,1414 Sato R, Cilli LPL, Oliveira BE, Maciel VBV, Venturini AC, Yoshida CMP. Nutritional improvement of pasta with Pereskia aculeata Miller: a non-conventional edible vegetable. Food Science and Technology, 2019;39(Suppl1):28-34.) and various sweet and savory recipes(1515 Almeida MEF, Correa AD. Utilização de cactáceas do gênero Pereskia na alimentação humana em um município de Minas Gerais. Ciência Rural, Santa Maria, 2012;42(4):751-756.).

These plants are used to treat some types of cancers, ulcers, inflammation, and edema in Malaysia and India(1515 Almeida MEF, Correa AD. Utilização de cactáceas do gênero Pereskia na alimentação humana em um município de Minas Gerais. Ciência Rural, Santa Maria, 2012;42(4):751-756.,1616 Sim KS, Sri Nurestri AM, Sinniah SK, Kim KH, Norhanom AW. Acute oral toxicity of Pereskia bleo and Pereskia grandifolia in mice. Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2010;6(21):67-70.), and have promising potential against obesity, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus, by reducing body weight, lipid content (serum, liver, and adipose tissue mass), and blood glucose(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.).

Juice from cacti of the genus Pereskia in association with a hypercaloric diet based on condensed milk has been little studied in the metabolism of rats(1717 Souza MSS, Barbalho SM, Guiguer EL, Araújo AC, Bueno PCS, Farinazzi-Machado FMV, et al. Effects of Pereskia aculeata Miller on the biochemical profiles and body composition of wistar rats. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 2015;3:82-89.). Thus, this study aimed to evaluate whether the juice from the leaves of cacti of three species of the genus Pereskia promotes changes in the physiological parameters of Wistar rats.

Material and methods

The experimental study, carried out at the Laboratory of Experimental Nutrition of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Campus Rio Paranaíba, was based on the ethical principles of Brazilian Animal Experimentation, according to Law nº 11,794, of October 8, 2008(1818 Brasil. Lei no 11.794, de 8 de outubro de 2008. Procedimentos para o uso científico de animais. Diário Oficial [da] República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília, DF, 9 out. 2008. Disponível em: http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2007-2010/2008/lei/l11794.htm. Acesso em: 25 jul. 2020.
http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_at...
), and was developed after the approval of the Ethics Committee on the Use of Animals (CEUA) of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) (Protocol nº 100/2017).

Thirty-day old male Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus) with an average weight of 50 g and from the Central Vivarium of the Center for Biological and Health Sciences at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Campus Viçosa, Brazil, were used in this study. The rats remained in individual cages at 22 °C and a 12-hour light/dark cycle (7 am to 7 pm), receiving food and water ad libitum in the feeding and drinking troughs. The experiment lasted 16 weeks and was carried out in two stages (Figure 1).

The hypercaloric diet was prepared with 46% ground rodent rations (rats and mice), 46% condensed milk, and 8% corn oil.

The rats of the HGS group received subcutaneous injections of monosodium glutamate (240 mg/mL of solution) once a week in the posterior cervical region at the dose of 4 mg/g of body weight(1919 Souza F, Marchesini JB, Campos ACL, Malafaia O, Monteiro OG, Ribeiro FB, et al. Efeito da vagotomia troncular em ratos injetados na fase neonatal com glutamato monossódico: estudo biométrico. Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira, São Paulo, 2001;16. Disponível em: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0102-86502001000100006&script=sci_abstract&tlng=pt. Acesso em: 25 jul. 2020.
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S010...
). The cage of the HGS group rats had a trough with water and another with a sucrose solution (90% water and 10% sucrose). The sucrose solution was prepared weekly to avoid contamination with microorganisms.

Leaves of the three species of the genus Pereskia (Pereskia aculeata, Pereskia grandifolia, and Pereskia bleo) were collected in a household in the municipality of São Gonçalo do Abaeté, MG, Brazil. Subsequently, the leaves were washed and sanitized with 200 ppm sodium hypochlorite solution for 10 minutes to prepare the juices in the proportion of 90% mineral water and 10% thin slices of each Pereskia leaf. The ingredients (water and slices) were ground in a domestic blender and filtered through a paper filter to be offered to the rats via gavage. The HW group rats received water via gavage, following the same procedures adopted for the juice groups.

Wistar rats usually eat 85% of their food at night. Thus, the administration of juice via gavage occurred twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) in an amount of 1 mL/day per animal, from 5 pm to 6 pm. The drug Lidocaine Hydrochloride, which has a local anesthetic action and short duration (<60 minutes), was used to reduce the painful perception of the gavage needle when it was introduced from the mouth to the stomach.

Body weight and naso-anal length were measured weekly for calculations(44 Almeida MEF, Ferreira JT, Augusto-Obara TR, Cruz RG, Arruda HS, Santos VS, et al. Can lychee reducing the adipose tissue mass in rats? Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Curitiba, 2018;61:e18160483.) of the Body MassIndex=bodyweightg/length×lengthcm, and of the Lee Index = [cube root of body weight (g)/naso-anal length (cm)].

The weekly feed intake was calculated by the difference between the amount of diet offered and the leftovers in the troughs. Feces were collected at weeks 4 and 8 after the use of cactus juice to calculate(44 Almeida MEF, Ferreira JT, Augusto-Obara TR, Cruz RG, Arruda HS, Santos VS, et al. Can lychee reducing the adipose tissue mass in rats? Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Curitiba, 2018;61:e18160483.) the Apparentdigestibility=amountoffeedintakeamountofexcretedfeces/amountoffeedintake×100.

The rats were subjected to general anesthesia (intraperitoneally) by overdosing Ketamine (300 mg / kg) and Xylazine (30 mg/kg) at the end of the experiment. Euthanasia was performed after confirmation of loss of consciousness.

The liver was removed for the calculation(44 Almeida MEF, Ferreira JT, Augusto-Obara TR, Cruz RG, Arruda HS, Santos VS, et al. Can lychee reducing the adipose tissue mass in rats? Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Curitiba, 2018;61:e18160483.) of the HepatosomaticIndexHSI=liverweight/finalbodyweight×100. Epididymal adipose tissue was collected for the calculation(44 Almeida MEF, Ferreira JT, Augusto-Obara TR, Cruz RG, Arruda HS, Santos VS, et al. Can lychee reducing the adipose tissue mass in rats? Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Curitiba, 2018;61:e18160483.) of the EpididymalFatIndexEFI=epididymalfatmass/finalbodyweight×100. Visceral adipose tissue was removed to calculate(44 Almeida MEF, Ferreira JT, Augusto-Obara TR, Cruz RG, Arruda HS, Santos VS, et al. Can lychee reducing the adipose tissue mass in rats? Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, Curitiba, 2018;61:e18160483.) the VisceralFatIndexVFI=visceralfatmass/finalbodyweight×100.

The data were analyzed using the Tukey test at a 5% significance level, using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program, version 20.0.

Results and discussion

Monosodium glutamate and sucrose in association with the hypercaloric diet did not induce obesity, as the adipose tissue means showed no statistical difference between H and HW groups. Pereskia grandifolia juice promoted a lower total weight gain as a result of low feed intake, suggesting higher satiety, which may contribute to the prevention and/or treatment of obesity. However, Pereskia aculeata juice increased the amount of visceral adipose tissue compared to the Pereskia bleo.

No statistical difference was found during the use of cactus juice between the weekly body weight means (Figure 2A) and those at the end of the experiment (Figure 2B). However, the HW group showed a higher total weight gain (p<0.05) than the H, HPb, and HPg groups (Figure 2C). Among the cactus groups, HPg presented the lowest total weight gain (p<0.05).

Figure 2
Body weight (A), initial and final body weight (B), and total weight gain (C) of rats treated with a hypercaloric diet and cactus juice. Means and standard deviation followed by the same letters between groups do not differ by the Tukey test at a 5% probability. The absence of letters between groups did not differ by the Tukey test at 5%. H = Hypercaloric diet, HW = Hypercaloric diet and water, HPa = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia aculeata juice, HPb = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia bleo juice, HPg = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia grandifolia juice. Source: The authors.

The use of monosodium glutamate and glucose solution, in association with the hypercaloric diet, changed only the total weight gain when comparing the H and HW groups. The means of the average and weekly feed intake, the total weight gain, visceral adipose tissue mass, and the Visceral Fat Index showed a statistical difference when comparing the HW group (monosodium glutamate, sucrose solution, and water) with those that received juice from cacti. The administration of monosodium glutamate (2 to 4 mg / g of body weight) in newborn rats destroyed the ventromedial arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and promoted obesity due to the lack of control between macronutrient absorption and energy expenditure(66 Diemen VD, Trindade EN, Trindade MRM. Experimental model to induce obesity in rats. Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira, São Paulo, 2006;21(6):425-429.). The sucrose solution (30%) in association with a balanced diet for rats increased adipose tissues (visceral and epididymal)(77 Malafaia AB, Nassif PAN, Ribas CAPM, Ariede BL, Sue KN, Cruz MA. Indução da obesidade com sacarose em ratos. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cirurgia Digestiva, São Paulo, 2013;26(1):17-21.).

The average body weight showed no statistical difference between groups (Figure 2), differing from other studies with Wistar rats(2020 Barbalho SM, Guiguer EL, Marinelli PS, Bueno PCS, Salzedas LMP, Santos MCB, et al. Pereskia aculeata Miller flour: metabolic effects and composition. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2016;19(9):889-894.,2121 Zem LM, Helm CV, Henriques GS, Cabrini DA, Zuffellatd-Ribas KC. Pereskia aculeata: biological analysis on wistar rats. Food Science and Technology, 2017;37(1):42-47.), in which the cacti reduced this physiological parameter. Rats fed a hypercaloric diet with 5 and 10% Pereskia grandifolia flour reduced body weight(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.).

The group in which the Pereskia grandifolia juice (HPg) was administered had a lower total weight gain than the other groups of cacti (HPa and HPb) which were equal to each other and the H group. The reduction in weight gain was observed in rats that ingested Pereskia aculeata flour(2020 Barbalho SM, Guiguer EL, Marinelli PS, Bueno PCS, Salzedas LMP, Santos MCB, et al. Pereskia aculeata Miller flour: metabolic effects and composition. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2016;19(9):889-894.,2121 Zem LM, Helm CV, Henriques GS, Cabrini DA, Zuffellatd-Ribas KC. Pereskia aculeata: biological analysis on wistar rats. Food Science and Technology, 2017;37(1):42-47.).

The means of Lee’s Body Mass Index did not differ (p>0.05) between groups at the end of the study (Figures 3A and 3B), as observed by Souza et al.(1717 Souza MSS, Barbalho SM, Guiguer EL, Araújo AC, Bueno PCS, Farinazzi-Machado FMV, et al. Effects of Pereskia aculeata Miller on the biochemical profiles and body composition of wistar rats. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 2015;3:82-89.) who did not identify differences in the Lee Index among rats (male and female) treated with Pereskia aculeata juice. However, rats fed a hypercaloric diet containing 5 or 10% Pereskia grandifolia flour reduced these Indexes(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.). The intake of caloric foods with a low nutritional value increases the Body Mass Index and the Lee Index, as well as contributes to the emergence of chronic non-communicable diseases(2222 Battisti L, Barbosa AM, Silva KH, Batista GCP, Farias LAV, Azevedo GS, et al. Percepção da qualidade de vida e funcionalidade em obesos candidatos a cirurgia bariátrica: um estudo transversal. Revista Brasileira de Qualidade de Vida, Curitiba, 2017;9(2):125-140.).

Figure 3
Body Mass Index (A), and Lee Index (B) of rats treated with a hypercaloric diet and cactus juice. Means and standard deviation with the absence of letters between groups did not differ by the Tukey test at 5%. H = Hypercaloric diet, HW = Hypercaloric diet and water, HPa = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia aculeata juice, HPb = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia bleo juice, HPg = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia grandifolia juice. Source: The authors.

Feed intake showed no statistical difference between groups only at weeks 5, 7, and 8 (Table 1).

Table 1
Mean and standard deviation of the feed intake of rats treated with hypercaloric diets and cactus juice.

The group that received Pereskia grandifolia juice (HPg) decreased the average feed intake (p<0.05) compared to the H, HW, and HPa groups in a few weeks, but this fact did not interfere with the final body weight of rats (Figure 4A). These data are similar to those of Almeida et al.(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.) who found that groups that received a hypercaloric diet with Pereskia grandifolia flour (5 and 10%) reduced feed intake during the 4 weeks of evaluation.

Figure 4
Average feed intake (A), Apparent digestibility (B), liver weight (C), and Hepatosomatic Index (D) of rats treated with a hypercaloric diet and cactus juice. Means and standard deviation followed by the same letters between groups do not differ by the Tukey test at a 5% probability. The absence of letters between groups did not differ by the Tukey test at 5%. H = Hypercaloric diet, HW = Hypercaloric diet and water, HPa = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia aculeata juice, HPb = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia bleo juice, HPg = Hypercaloric diet and Pereskia grandifolia juice. Source: The authors.

The juices of Pereskia aculeata and Pereskia bleo did not change feed intake. Silva(2323 Silva DO. Avaliação do crescimento e desenvolvimento de ratos tratados com Pereskia aculeata, Miller. 2012. 64 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Nutrição e Alimentos)-Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas. 2012. Disponível em: http://guaiaca.ufpel.edu.br:8080/handle/123456789/2210. Acesso em 25 jul.
http://guaiaca.ufpel.edu.br:8080/handle/...
) observed a lower feed intake of rats that received 40% Pereskia aculeata flour. The intake of foods rich in lipids and carbohydrates is directly related to obesity(2222 Battisti L, Barbosa AM, Silva KH, Batista GCP, Farias LAV, Azevedo GS, et al. Percepção da qualidade de vida e funcionalidade em obesos candidatos a cirurgia bariátrica: um estudo transversal. Revista Brasileira de Qualidade de Vida, Curitiba, 2017;9(2):125-140.), while balanced and fiber-rich diets increase satiety and promote a reduction in feed intake(2424 Mira GS, Graf H, Cândido LMB. Visão retrospectiva em fibras alimentares com ênfase em beta-glucanas no tratamento do diabetes. Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, São Paulo, 2009;45(1):11-20.).

The HPg group showed less Apparent digestibility than the H group at week 4 (Figure 4B). However, no statistical difference in the mean between groups at week 8, with the cactus juice not interfering with the digestion and absorption of macronutrients of the diet. Silva(2323 Silva DO. Avaliação do crescimento e desenvolvimento de ratos tratados com Pereskia aculeata, Miller. 2012. 64 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Nutrição e Alimentos)-Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas. 2012. Disponível em: http://guaiaca.ufpel.edu.br:8080/handle/123456789/2210. Acesso em 25 jul.
http://guaiaca.ufpel.edu.br:8080/handle/...
) observed a higher fecal excretion of rats fed 40% Pereskia aculeata flour.

The average liver weight (Figure 4C) and the Hepatosomatic Index (Figure 4D) showed no statistical difference, suggesting that the cactus juice did not interfere with these parameters. However, Almeida et al.(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.) identified that the Pereskia grandifolia flour reduced the weight of this organ. The increase in liver weight can contribute to the development of liver diseases and other chronic diseases, as metabolic changes in this organ promote systemic cellular changes(2525 Carvalheira JBC, Saad MJA. Doenças associadas à resistência à insulina/hiperinsulinemia, não incluídas na síndrome metabólica. Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia, São Paulo, 2006;50(2):360-367.).

The epididymal adipose tissue mass did not differ between groups (p>0.05). However, the HPa group showed a higher visceral adipose tissue mass than the HPb and HW groups (Table 2).

Table 2
Mean and standard deviation of adipose tissues (visceral and epididymal). Visceral Fat Index, and Epididymal Fat Index of rats treated with a hypercaloric diet and cactus juice.

The Epididymal Fat Index showed no difference between groups (p>0.05), but the HPa group had a higher visceral fat index than the HW group (Table 2). This result differs from other studies that observed a decrease in the visceral fat of rats fed Pereskia aculeata juice(1717 Souza MSS, Barbalho SM, Guiguer EL, Araújo AC, Bueno PCS, Farinazzi-Machado FMV, et al. Effects of Pereskia aculeata Miller on the biochemical profiles and body composition of wistar rats. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 2015;3:82-89.) and flour(2020 Barbalho SM, Guiguer EL, Marinelli PS, Bueno PCS, Salzedas LMP, Santos MCB, et al. Pereskia aculeata Miller flour: metabolic effects and composition. Journal of Medicinal Food, 2016;19(9):889-894.). However, Almeida et al.(33 Almeida MEF, Simão AA, Corrêa AD, Fernandes RVB. Improvement of physiological parameters of rats subjected to hypercaloric diet, with the use of Pereskia grandifolia (Cactaceae) leaf flour. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016;10(6):701-709.) did not found differences regarding the total body lipids of rats fed Pereskia grandifolia flour (5 and 10%) and the hypercaloric diet group. The increase in visceral tissue is directly related to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, and diabetes mellitus, as it produces inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL1, IL6) that promote insulin resistance and other metabolic complications(2626 Petersen MC, Shulman GI. Mechanisms of insulin action and insulin resistance. Physiological Reviews, 2018;98(4):2133-2223.).

Conclusions

The results indicate that monosodium glutamate and sucrose did not increase adipose tissues. However, Pereskia aculeata juice in association with the hypercaloric diet increased the visceral adipose tissue mass compared to Pereskia bleo juice. Rats treated with Pereskia grandifolia juice showed lower feed intake and total weight gain, justifying its use in the prevention and/or treatment of obesity.

The intake of juice from cacti of the genus Pereskia, which has several bioactive molecules, may promote benefits to human health in the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases.

Acknowledgments

To the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for financing this research (Grant nº 194793, PIBIC/CNPq 2018-2019). To the students of the Nutrition Course at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Campus Rio Paranaíba, for collaborating with this study.

References

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    29 Jan 2021
  • Date of issue
    2020

History

  • Received
    09 Apr 2019
  • Accepted
    28 Jan 2020
  • Published
    10 Sept 2020
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