Momordica foetida Schumach. et Thonn. (Cucurbitaceae) is a perennial climbing herb with tendrils, found in swampy areas in Central Uganda. Antidiabetic and antilipogenic activities were reported for some Momordica species, however the mechanism of action is still unknown. Oxidative stress may represent an important pathogenic mechanism in obesity-associated metabolic syndrome. The present study evaluated free radical scavenging capacity of different concentrations of aqueous, methanolic and dichloromethane leaf extracts of Momordica foetida Schumach. et Thonn. and the ability of these extracts to inhibit in vitro plasma lipid peroxidation; in addition, healthy human adipose mesenchymal stem cell cultures were used in order to test the hypothesis that these extracts may affect adipocyte differentiation. Results obtained in this study suggested that aqueous extract might be useful in preventing metabolic syndrome.
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