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Antihyperlipidemic and Antioxidant Activities of Edible Tunisian Ficus carica L. Fruits in High Fat Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemic Rats

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The phenolic constituents of the aqueous-ethanolic extract of Tunisian Ficus carica (F. carica) fruit (FE) and its antihyperlipidemic and antioxidant activities in high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemic rats (HFD) were evaluated. The obtained results demonstrated that the FE improved the lipid profile by decreasing the total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. It also reduced the content of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and increased the antioxidant enzymes in liver, heart and kidney in HFD-fed rats. These antihyperlipidemic effects and in vivo antioxidative effects correlated with the in vitro phenolic content scavenging ability. Thus, the major phenolic compounds were identified using reversed-phase ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-UHPLC) coupled with two detection systems: diode-array detection (DAD) and quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Therefore, in the negative ionization mode, 28 phenolic compounds, including hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanoids and hydroxycoumarins were characterized. Dihydroxybenzoic acid di-pentoside, the flavonol quercetin 3-O-rutinoside and the flavone assigned as apigenin 8-C-glucoside were the main representative compounds in ‘Tounsi’ fruits. This work was complemented by the detection of seven other phenolic compounds in the positive ionization mode, including anthocyanins and furanocoumarins. Overall, these results have shown that the FE has a significant hypocholesterolemic effect and antioxidant activity in HFD-fed rats. This beneficial effect may be partly due to these phenolic constituents, especially vitexin, dihydroxybenzoic acid di-pentoside as well as rutin.

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Diode array detection


High fat-diet


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Mass spectrometry


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


Thiobarbituric acid reacting substances


Total cholesterol




Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry


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Correspondence to Olfa Belguith-Hadriche or Mohamed Bouaziz.

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The authors: Olfa Belguith-Hadriche, Sonda Ammar, María del Mar Contreras, Mouna Turki, Antonio Segura-Carretero, Abdelfattah El Feki, Fatma Makni-Ayedi, Mohamed Bouaziz declared no Conflict of Interest

All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

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Belguith-Hadriche, O., Ammar, S., Contreras, M.d. et al. Antihyperlipidemic and Antioxidant Activities of Edible Tunisian Ficus carica L. Fruits in High Fat Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemic Rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 71, 183–189 (2016).

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