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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2391592, 14 pages
Research Article

An Investigation into the Antiobesity Effects of Morinda citrifolia L. Leaf Extract in High Fat Diet Induced Obese Rats Using a 1H NMR Metabolomics Approach

1Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
4Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, 230 Réduit, Mauritius
5Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 14 June 2015; Revised 13 September 2015; Accepted 13 September 2015

Academic Editor: Michal Ciborowski

Copyright © 2016 Najla Gooda Sahib Jambocus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide, with high fat diet (HFD) as one of the main contributing factors. Obesity increases the predisposition to other diseases such as diabetes through various metabolic pathways. Limited availability of antiobesity drugs and the popularity of complementary medicine have encouraged research in finding phytochemical strategies to this multifaceted disease. HFD induced obese Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with an extract of Morinda citrifolia L. leaves (MLE 60). After 9 weeks of treatment, positive effects were observed on adiposity, fecal fat content, plasma lipids, and insulin and leptin levels. The inducement of obesity and treatment with MLE 60 on metabolic alterations were then further elucidated using a 1H NMR based metabolomics approach. Discriminating metabolites involved were products of various metabolic pathways, including glucose metabolism and TCA cycle (lactate, 2-oxoglutarate, citrate, succinate, pyruvate, and acetate), amino acid metabolism (alanine, 2-hydroxybutyrate), choline metabolism (betaine), creatinine metabolism (creatinine), and gut microbiome metabolism (hippurate, phenylacetylglycine, dimethylamine, and trigonelline). Treatment with MLE 60 resulted in significant improvement in the metabolic perturbations caused obesity as demonstrated by the proximity of the treated group to the normal group in the OPLS-DA score plot and the change in trajectory movement of the diseased group towards the healthy group upon treatment.