Dietary taurine enhances cholesterol degradation and reduces serum and liver cholesterol concentrations in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet
The effect of taurine on hypercholesterolemia induced by feeding a high-cholesterol (HC) diet (10 g/kg) to rats was examined. When taurine was supplemented to HC for 2 wk, serum total cholesterol significantly decreased and serum HDL-cholesterol increased compared with the HC diet group. In the hypercholesterolemic rats fed the HC diet, the excretion of fecal bile acids and hepatic cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) activity and its mRNA level increased significantly, and the supplementation of taurine further enhanced these indexes, indicating an increase in cholesterol degradation. Agarose gel electrophoresis revealed that, in hypercholesterolemic rats fed the HC diet, the serum level of the heavier VLDL increased significantly, but taurine repressed this increase and normalized this pattern. Significant correlations were observed between the time-dependent increase of CYP7A1 gene expression and the decrease of blood cholesterol concentration in rats fed the HC diet supplemented with taurine. These results suggest that the hypocholesterolemic effects of taurine observed in the hypocholesterolemic rats fed the HC diet were mainly due to the enhancement of cholesterol degradation and the excretion of bile acid.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.