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Nutr Res Pract. 2008 Winter;2(4):211-7. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2008.2.4.211. Epub 2008 Dec 30.

Effect of onion and beet on plasma and liver lipids, platelet aggregation, and erythrocyte Na efflux in simvastatin treated hypercholesterolmic rats.

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Department of Foods & Nutrition, Cheju National University, 1 Ara-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju 690-756, Korea.


This study was purposed to investigate the effect of onion or beet on plasma and liver lipids, erythrocyte Na efflux channels and platelet aggregation in simvastatin (SIM) treated hypercholesterolemic rats. Forty Sprague Dawley rats were divided into four groups and fed 0.5% cholesterol based diets containing 2 mg/kg BW simvastatin or simvastatin with 5% onion or beet powder. Plasma total cholesterol was significantly increased in SIM group compared with the control (p<0.01), and the elevated plasma total cholesterol of SIM group was significantly decreased in SIM-onion and SIM-beet groups (p<0.05). HDL-cholesterol in SIM-beet group was significantly increased compared with other groups (p<0.05). Platelet aggregation in both the maximum and initial slope was significantly decreased in SIM group compared with SIM-onion group (p<0.05). Na-K ATPase was significantly decreased in SIM group compared with the control, SIM-onion and SIM-beet groups (p<0.05). Na passive leak was significantly increased in all groups treated with SIM compared with the control (p<0.05). The total Na efflux was decreased in SIM group and increased in SIM-onion group and the difference between these two groups was significant (p<0.05). There was no difference in intracellular Na among groups. In present study, simvastatin, a HMG CoA reductase inhibitor at dose of 2mg/kg BW/day rather increased plasma total cholesterol in rats, inferring that the action mechanism of simvastatin on cholesterol metabolism differ between rat and human. Onion and beet play favorable roles in cardiovascular system by restoring the reduced Na efflux through Na-K ATPase and Na-K cotransport in SIM treated rats.


Simvastatin; antioxidant; beet; hypercholesterolemic rats; onion

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