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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;56(6):619-26. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181f78da4.

Effects of an extract obtained from fruits of Euterpe oleracea Mart. in the components of metabolic syndrome induced in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet.

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Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biology, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Previously, we have demonstrated that the seed of Euterpe oleracea Mart. (açaí) from the Amazon region exerts vasodilator and antihypertensive actions. The aim of our study was to assess the effects of oral chronic treatment with açaí seed extract (ASE, 300 mg · kg(-1) · d(-1)) on high-fat (HF) diet–induced metabolic syndrome (MS) in C57BL/6J mice. Four groups of C57BL/6 mice were fed with control diet (10% fat), ASE (10% fat), HF (60% fat), and HF + ASE (60% fat plus ASE) for 12 weeks. The vasodilator effects of acetylcholine (ACh) and nitroglycerine (NG) were studied in perfused mesenteric arterial bed. Body weight, plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose and insulin levels, oral glucose tolerance test, and oxidative damage were determined, and the insulin resistance measured by Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA) index. Vasodilator response to ACh but not to NG was reduced in HF mice, and ASE restored the response. Increased plasma malondialdehyde levels, body weight, plasma triglyceride, total cholesterol, glucose levels, and insulin resistance were observed in HF mice and reduced by ASE. Treatment with ASE also reduced glucose intolerance observed by oral glucose tolerance test in HF mice. In conclusion, ASE protected C57BL/6J mice fed HF diet from phenotypic and metabolic characteristics of MS, providing an alternative nutritional resource for prevention of MS.

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