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Planta Med. 2011 Nov;77(17):1876-82. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1279992. Epub 2011 Jul 4.

Kaempferol regulates the lipid-profile in high-fat diet-fed rats through an increase in hepatic PPARα levels.

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School of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.


The aim of this study was to investigate the antiobesity and antihyperlipidemic effects of the flavonoid kaempferol (3,5,7,4'-tetrahydroxyflavone). After being fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for two weeks, rats were dosed orally with kaempferol (75, 150, or 300 mg/kg) or fenofibrate (100 mg/kg) once daily for eight weeks. Fenofibrate is an antilipemic agent that exerts its therapeutic effects through activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPAR α). Kaempferol (300 mg/kg/day) produced effects similar to fenofibrate in reducing body weight gain, visceral fat-pad weights, plasma lipid levels, as well as the coronary artery risk and atherogenic indices of HFD-fed rats. Kaempferol also caused dose-related reductions in hepatic triglyceride and cholesterol content and lowered hepatic lipid droplet accumulation and the size of epididymal adipocytes in HFD-fed rats. Kaempferol and fenofibrate reversed the HFD-induced downregulation of hepatic PPAR α. HFD-induced reductions in the hepatic levels of acyl-CoA oxidase (ACO), and cytochrome P450 isoform 4A1 (CYP4A1) proteins were reversed by kaempferol and fenofibrate. The elevated expression of hepatic sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) in HFD-fed rats were lowered by kaempferol and fenofibrate. These results suggest that kaempferol reduced the accumulation of visceral fat and improved hyperlipidemia in HFD-fed obese rats by increasing lipid metabolism through the downregulation of SREBPs and promoting the hepatic expression of ACO and CYP4A1, secondary to a direct upregulation hepatic PPAR α expression.

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