Study reveals significant health benefits of golden berries in diabetic and obese rats

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In a recent study published in Nutrients, a group of researchers assessed the effects of a Golden Berry (Physalis peruviana)-enriched diet on insulin resistance and obesity in diabetic, obese rats with metabolic syndrome.

Study: Daily Consumption of Golden Berry (Physalis peruviana) Has Been Shown to Halt the Progression of Insulin Resistance and Obesity in Obese Rats with Metabolic Syndrome. Image Credit: Creative Family/Shutterstock.comStudy: Daily Consumption of Golden Berry (Physalis peruviana) Has Been Shown to Halt the Progression of Insulin Resistance and Obesity in Obese Rats with Metabolic Syndrome. Image Credit: Creative Family/


Metabolic syndrome, characterized by issues like high blood sugar and obesity, often leads to insulin resistance and can progress to type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle factors, including diet and activity level, are crucial in its development and management.

The Golden Berry, a nutrient-dense South American fruit, has gained attention for its potential in combating these health issues. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, studies indicate that Golden Berry consumption can significantly reduce obesity and improve insulin sensitivity.

This highlights its promise in managing metabolic disorders and underscores the importance of natural, nutrient-rich foods in maintaining health. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which Golden Berry affects metabolic disorders and evaluate its efficacy and safety in human populations.

About the study

In the present study, researchers utilized the "Dorada" variety from AGROSAVIA, The Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research, cultivated at Caribbean Exotic S.A.S. in Colombia. The study involved 64 Wistar rats, both male and female, housed at the Industrial University of Santander.

The research aimed for representativeness without exclusions, dividing rats into four groups based on their diet - standard and high-fat, with and without Golden Berry supplementation.

Key parameters such as abdomen circumference, body weight, length, and Body mass index (BMI) were closely monitored. The study also involved collecting and analyzing urine and blood samples, focusing on glycemic and lipid profiles.

Organ weights, including the liver, pancreas, and various adipose tissues, were measured post-sacrifice.

Gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue was examined, targeting genes like peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), fatty acid synthase (FasN), insulin receptor (INSR), and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) through real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). This involved precise ribonucleic acid (RNA) extraction, quantification, and amplification.

The metabolomic analysis employed a Chromatography-Electrospray Ionization-Quadrupole-Orbitrap (UPLC-ESI-Q-Orbitrap) system for high-resolution mass detection to identify metabolites influenced by Golden Berry consumption.

The study utilized Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software to uncover biological associations between urine metabolites and potential health impacts.

Statistical analysis was conducted using GraphPad Prism® and SPSS software, employing analyses of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s test to assess the significance of the findings.

Study results 

The study’s anatomical measurements revealed significant changes in rat body weight following dietary treatments with or without Golden Berry.

Specifically, the high-fat diet (HFD) group showed a notable increase in weight, with the most significant differences observed in comparison to the standard diet (SD) and SD with Golden Berry (SD-GB) groups. Gender-specific differences were also noted, particularly in the HFD group, indicating the impact of diet on body weight.

Biochemical parameters were evaluated across different diets, revealing significant gender-specific variations. Glycemia levels increased notably in the HFD group, while cholesterol levels spiked across all groups, particularly in the HFD group.

Triglyceride levels also saw a significant rise in the HFD group compared to other diets. The addition of Golden Berry to the diets appeared to moderate these effects, especially in the HFD-GB group.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels varied across treatments, with notable differences between pre- and post-treatment values in each group.

In the study of organ and adipose tissue weights, the liver, pancreas, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), brown adipose tissue (BAT), and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) weights were significantly affected by diet.

The HFD group exhibited increased liver and pancreas weights, with Golden Berry supplementation showing a potential moderating effect. Adipose tissues showed similar trends, with the HFD group having higher VAT and SAT weights. However, Golden Berry supplementation appeared to counteract these effects, particularly in the HFD-GB group.

Key gene expressions influenced by dietary variations were analyzed, revealing significant changes in INSR and FasN expressions in the HFD-post group. PPARγ and LPL expressions also varied across diets, with the highest expression observed in the HFD-GB diet.

These results suggest that dietary variations, especially the incorporation of Golden Berry in HFD, significantly influence metabolic gene regulation.

Biomarker discovery and metabolic profiling in rat urine post-Golden Berry consumption were conducted using an Orthogonal Signal Correction to Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (OSC-PLS-DA) approach.

This analysis identified key urinary metabolites, indicating a distinct metabolic impact of Golden Berry consumption. Metabolites such as β-Cyclocitral Glucuronide and Pipecolic Acid were notable for their altered excretion patterns following Golden Berry intake.

The study also elucidated metabolic networks and biological pathways influenced by Golden Berry consumption using IPA.

This integrative approach highlighted the complex metabolic interactions stemming from Golden Berry consumption and its potential implications on health and disease.

Journal reference:
Vijay Kumar Malesu

Written by

Vijay Kumar Malesu

Vijay holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and possesses a deep passion for microbiology. His academic journey has allowed him to delve deeper into understanding the intricate world of microorganisms. Through his research and studies, he has gained expertise in various aspects of microbiology, which includes microbial genetics, microbial physiology, and microbial ecology. Vijay has six years of scientific research experience at renowned research institutes such as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and KIIT University. He has worked on diverse projects in microbiology, biopolymers, and drug delivery. His contributions to these areas have provided him with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and the ability to tackle complex research challenges.    


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