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Br J Nutr. 2012 Jul;108(2):208-17. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511005472. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

The lipid-lowering effect of dietary proanthocyanidins in rats involves both chylomicron-rich and VLDL-rich fractions.

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  • 1Departament de Bioquímica i Biotecnologia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.


Proanthocyanidins have been shown to improve postprandial hypertriacylglycerolaemia. The present study aims to determine the actual contribution of chylomicrons (CM) and VLDL in the hypotriacylglycerolaemic action of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) in the postprandial state and to characterise the mechanisms by which the GSPE treatment reduces TAG-rich lipoproteins in vivo. A plasma lipid tolerance test was performed on rats fasted for 14 h and orally loaded with lard containing either GSPE or not. GSPE (250 mg/kg body weight) markedly blocked the increase in plasma TAG induced by lard, with a statistically significant reduction of 22 % in the area under the curve. The VLDL-rich fraction was the major contributor (72 %) after 1 h, whereas the CM-rich fraction was the major contributor (85 %) after 3 h. At 5 and 7 h after treatment, CM-rich and VLDL-rich fractions showed a similar influence. Plasma post-heparin lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity and LPL mRNA levels in white adipose tissue and muscle were not affected by GSPE. On the contrary, GSPE treatment significantly repressed (30 %) the secretion of VLDL-TAG. In the liver, GSPE treatment induced different effects on the expression of acyl-coenzyme A synthetase long-chain family member 1, Apoc3 and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase at 1 h and Cd36 at 5 h, compared to those induced by lard. Furthermore, GSPE treatment significantly increased the activity of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a at 1 h. In conclusion, both CM-rich and VLDL-rich fractions contributed to the hypotriacylglycerolaemic action of GSPE, but their influence depended on time. GSPE induces hypotriacylglycerolaemic actions by repressing lipoprotein secretion and not by increasing LPL activity.

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