Fruit Peel Extracts, Thyroid And LPO


Jul 29, 2014
I ran across this study a few years ago and sort of forgot about it until a couple days ago when it popped back into my brain. I'm trying to figure out if the study has any value for the community, or if there is a potential supplement here, as the results at first glance seem impressive.

When I first read the paper I was very suspicious of the increase in T3 and T4 and thought maybe the extracts were causing some kind of decreased binding of the hormone (if that is possible, or even makes sense), though the decrease in LPO may indicate that the increased thyroid levels are a positive thing. I don't know enough about thyroid to be able to figure that out, so hopefully somebody else can read through the paper and come to a conclusion.

Protective role of Mangifera indica, Cucumis melo and Citrullus vulgaris peel extracts in chemically induced hypothyroidism - ScienceDirect

The study tests 3 different peel extracts individually and in combination on regular rats and propylthiouracil treated rats. They checked things like lipid peroxidation, T3, T4, glucose, etc.

The rind extracts were from mango, cantaloupe and watermelon. The chart below compares the the 3 extracts separately with a control group. In the cantaloupe treated group, or CM (cucumis melo), and which I tend to think of as a muskmelon, hepatic, cardiac and renal LPO is down and T3 and T4 are up. One reason for the increase in T3 is that the liver and kidney are apparently major sites of T3 generation (from T4) and decreased lipid peroxidation in these areas would presumably cause an increase in T4 to T3 conversion.


Here are some snippets from the paper that I found interesting (which is basically the entire discussion section):

"A significant decrease in tissue LPO in response to the administration of either MI or CV or CM peel extract to normal healthy animals clearly revealed the antiperoxidative role of these peel extracts, similar to the reports on whole fruit extracts [16,17,20]"

"With respect to the regulation of thyroid functions all three peel extracts enhanced serum T3 and T4 concentrations indicating their thyroid stimulating property"

"It also appears that these peel extracts might be stimulating T4 synthesis both at glandular level (the only source for T4 synthesis) and at the level of peripheral mono deiodination of T4; the main source of T3 generation [45]. As some plant extracts are known to interfere with thyroid hormone homeostasis at various levels including binding of TSH-receptor, thyroid-iodide transport, the possible role of the three test peel extracts on these two aspects cannot be ruled out"

"A decrease in total serum cholesterol and LDL-C by CM and in TG and VLDL-C by CV administration (Table 2) do suggest the favorable effects of the two peel extracts in maintaining a healthy lipid profile status as also indicated for some other peels [3,10,31,32]. These observations on serum lipids also corroborate the prothyroidal potential of the test peels as thyroid hormones are known to be lipolytic in nature [49]."

"In conclusion, test peels appear to possess prothyroid effects particularly when administered individually. However, considering to the observed combined effects, these peels may appear to be toxic if consumed together and therefore further investigation on the latter aspect is necessary."


I should note that I'm only interested in these extracts individually. The study indicates there may be some problems with combining them.

This is how the extracts were produced...

"Fresh fruits of Mango (Mangifera indica, Family-Anacardiaceae), Melon (Cucumis melo, Family-Cucurbitaceae) and Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris, Family-Cucurbitaceae) were purchased from the local market. They were peeled off mechanically and good quality peels were air dried under shadow and then grounded into fine powder by pulverization. For the preparation of methanolic extract of mango (MI), melon (CM) and watermelon (CV) peels; procedure described by earlier workers was used [7]. In brief, 100 g peel powder was extracted with 600 ml of methyl alcohol at 30 ◦C for 4 h with continuous stirring in a magnetic stirrer and then filtered. The filtrate was dried and stored for future use."
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