Polyphenol-rich blackcurrant extract exerts hypocholesterolaemic and hypoglycaemic effects in mice fed a diet containing high fat and cholesterol

Tyler Benn, Bohkyung Kim, Young-Ki Park, Yue Yang, Tho X Pham, Chai Siah Ku, Callie Farruggia, Ellen Harness, Joan A Smyth, Ji-Young Lee
British Journal of Nutrition 2015 June 14, 113 (11): 1697-703
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of metabolic abnormalities, such as hyperlipidaemia and hyperglycaemia. We investigated whether polyphenol-rich blackcurrant extract (BCE) can prevent high fat/high cholesterol (HF/HC) diet-induced metabolic disturbances in mice. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a modified AIN-93M diet containing HF/HC (16% fat, 0·25% cholesterol, w/w) or the same diet supplemented with 0·1% BCE (w/w) for 12 weeks. There were no differences in total body weight and liver weight between groups. Plasma total cholesterol (TC) and glucose levels were significantly lower in BCE group than in controls, while plasma TAG levels were not significantly different. There was a decreasing trend in hepatic TAG levels, and histological evaluation of steatosis grade was markedly lower in the livers of mice fed BCE. Although the mRNA levels of major regulators of hepatic cholesterol metabolism, i.e. 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) and LDL receptor (LDLR), were not significantly altered by BCE supplementation, protein expression of mature sterol-regulatory element-binding protein and LDLR was significantly increased with no change in HMGR protein. The expression of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 that facilitates LDLR protein degradation, as well as one of its transcriptional regulators, i.e. hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α, was significantly decreased in the livers of mice fed BCE. Taken together, BCE supplementation decreased plasma TC and glucose, and inhibited liver steatosis, suggesting that this berry may be consumed to prevent metabolic dysfunctions induced by diets high in fat and cholesterol.

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