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European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 869–875 | Cite as

Blueberry anthocyanins at doses of 0.5 and 1 % lowered plasma cholesterol by increasing fecal excretion of acidic and neutral sterols in hamsters fed a cholesterol-enriched diet

  • Yintong Liang
  • Jingnan Chen
  • Yuanyuan Zuo
  • Ka Ying Ma
  • Yue Jiang
  • Yu Huang
  • Zhen-Yu ChenEmail author
Original Contribution

Abstract

Purpose

The present study investigated the underlying mechanism associated with the hypocholesterolemic activity of blueberry anthocyanins by examining its effect on fecal sterol excretion and gene expression of major receptors, enzymes, and transporters involved in cholesterol metabolism.

Methods

Hamsters were divided into three groups and fed a 0.1 % cholesterol diet containing 0 % (CTL), 0.5 % (BL), and 1.0 % (BH) blueberry anthocyanins, respectively, for six weeks. Plasma total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerols (TAG), and non-high-density lipoproteins cholesterol (non-HDL-C) were measured using the enzymatic kits, and the gene expression of transporters, enzymes, and receptors involved in cholesterol absorption and metabolism was quantified using the quantitative PCR. GC analysis was used to quantify hepatic cholesterol and fecal acidic and neutral sterols.

Results

Dietary supplementation of 0.5 and 1.0 % blueberry anthocyanins for 6 weeks decreased plasma TC concentration by 6–12 % in a dose-dependent manner. This was accompanied by increasing the excretion of fecal neutral and acidic sterols by 22–29 % and 41–74 %, respectively. Real-time PCR analyses demonstrated that incorporation of blueberry anthocyanins into diet down-regulated the genes of NPC1L1, ACAT-2, MTP, and ABCG 8. In addition, blueberry anthocyanins were also able to down-regulate the gene expression of hepatic HMG-CoA reductase.

Conclusion

The cholesterol-lowering activity of blueberry anthocyanins was most likely mediated by enhancing the excretion of sterols accompanied with down-regulation on gene expression of intestinal NPC1L1, ACAT-2, MTP, and ABCG 8.

Keywords

Anthocyanins Cholesterol Blueberry NPC1L1 Sterol excretion 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yintong Liang
    • 1
  • Jingnan Chen
    • 2
  • Yuanyuan Zuo
    • 1
  • Ka Ying Ma
    • 1
  • Yue Jiang
    • 2
  • Yu Huang
    • 3
  • Zhen-Yu Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatin, NTHong Kong, China
  2. 2.Department of BiologyHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong, China
  3. 3.School of Biomedical SciencesChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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