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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 Sep;70(9):2086-95. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Comparative effect of gromwell (Lithospermum erythrorhizon) extract and borage oil on reversing epidermal hyperproliferation in guinea pigs.

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Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


To compare the systemic efficacy of borage oil (Borago officinalis: BO) and gromwell (Lithospermum erythrorhizon), two plant species of the Boraginaceae family, epidermal hyperproliferation was induced in guinea pigs by a hydrogenated coconut oil diet for 8 weeks. Subsequently, guinea pigs were fed diets of BO (group HBO), organic extract (group HGO), or water extract (group HGW) of gromwell for 2 weeks. In groups HGO and HGW, proliferation scores and the level of ceramides, the major lipid maintaining epidermal barrier, were similar with those in normal control group BO fed BO diet for 10 weeks. Despite accumulation of 15-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (15-HETrE), the potent anti-proliferative metabolite of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA: major polyunsaturated fatty acid in BO), the reversal of epidermal hyperproliferation and the ceramide level of group HBO were less than those of groups HGO and HGW. Taken together, our data demonstrate that gromwell is more effective in reversing epidermal hyperproliferation with a marked increase in ceramides.

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