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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2004 May;74(3):199-208.

Antioxidant status of red blood cells and liver in hypercholesterolemic rats fed hypolipidemic spices.

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Department of Biochemistry & Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore-570013, India.


Animal studies were carried out to examine the beneficial influence of known hypolipidemic spice principles--curcumin, capsaicin, and garlic--on the antioxidant status of red blood cells and liver under induced hypercholesterolemic conditions. Groups of experimental rats rendered hypercholesterolemic were maintained on curcumin (0.2%)/capsaicin (0.015%)/garlic (2.0% dry powder)-containing diets for eight weeks. Erythrocytes isolated at the end of the study were analyzed for intracellular antioxidant molecules and antioxidant enzymes. Intracellular thiols and glutathione content in red blood cells were significantly depleted (by about 35%) in hypercholesterolemic rats. This depletion in intracellular thiols and glutathione was effectively countered by dietary spice principles - curcumin, capsaicin, and garlic. Glutathione reductase activity that was lowered in hypercholesterolemic conditions (by 25%) was completely countered by dietary spice principles and garlic. Activities of glutathione transferase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase in erythrocytes remained unchanged under hypercholesterolemic conditions. Although hemoglobin levels of erythrocytes were not affected, methemoglobin concentration was significantly increased in hypercholesterolemic rats. This alteration was partially countered by dietary spice principles. Significant fall in hepatic total thiols in the hypercholesterolemic situation was partially corrected by dietary spice treatment. Similarly, the lowered activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes--glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase--in hypercholesterolemic rats were effectively countered by the dietary spices treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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