Leong PK, Leung HY, Wong HS, Chen J, Ma CW, Yang Y, Ko KM
 Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear water bay, Hong Kong.
 Infinitus (China) Company Ltd., Guangzhou, China.
Obesity is a risk factor for metabolic disorders, with its prevalence being increased in the world over the past several decades. Therapeutical interventions for obesity are thus urgently needed. In the present study, we investigated the ef- fect of long-term treatment (0.51 and 5.1 g/kg/day, 5 days per week for a total of 40 doses) with an herbal formula MCC [which comprises the fruit of Momordica charantia (MC), the pericarpium of Citri reticulata and L-carnitine] in normal diet (ND) and high fat diet (HFD)-fed female ICR mice. Body weight change was monitored during the course of the experiment. Fat pad indices, plasma glucose and lipid contents, as well as metabolic enzyme activities and mitochon- drial coupling efficiency in skeletal muscle were measured at 24 hours after the last dosing. Results showed that HFD increased the body weight, fat pad indices, plasma glucose and lipid contents as well as β-hydroxyacyl-Co A dehydro- genase (β-HAD) and carnitine palmitoyl CoA transferase (CPT) activities in skeletal muscle. However, the phos- phofructokinase (PFK) activity was decreased in skeletal muscle. MCC treatment reduced the HFD-induced increases in body weight, fat pad indices and plasma lipid contents. MCC treatment only partially reversed the HFD-induced changes in β-HAD and CPT activities, but did not restore the HFD-induced decrease in PFK activity. MCC did not alter the plasma glucose level and mitochondrial coupling efficiency in skeletal muscle of ND and HFD-fed mice. Since MCC formula did not increase activities of energy metabolic enzymes or induce mitochondrial uncoupling, the weight loss effect of MCC is likely related to the reduction of intestinal lipid absorption in HFD-fed mice.