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Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 28;110(6):988-97. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000068. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Protective effect of Tuscan black cabbage sprout extract against serum lipid increase and perturbations of liver antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes in rats fed a high-fat diet.

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Molecular Toxicology Unit, Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


A diet rich in fat is considered a primary risk factor for CVD, cancer and failures in metabolism and endocrine functions. Hyperlipidaemia generates oxidative stress and weakens antioxidant defences as well as metabolic detoxification systems. Brassicaceae are vegetables rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, affecting enzymatic antioxidant as well as phase II enzymes and conceivably counteracting high-fat diet (HFD)-associated pathologies. The protective role of Tuscan black cabbage (a variety of kale) sprout extract (TBCSE) intake against HFD alterations was here studied. The effects on rat hepatic antioxidant as well as detoxifying enzymes, and serum lipid- and body weightlowering properties of TBCSE, were investigated. Feeding the animals with a HFD for 21 d increased body as well as liver weights, and induced hyperlipidaemia, as confirmed by a higher serum lipid profile v. control diet. Daily intragastric administration of TBCSE to HFD-fed rats lowered serum total cholesterol, TAG and NEFA. Body and liver weight gains were also reduced. Antioxidant (catalase, NAD(P)H:quinone reductase, oxidised glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase) and phase II (glutathione S-transferase and uridine diphosphate glucuronosyl transferase) enzymes were down-regulated by the HFD, while the extract restored normal levels in most groups. Generation of toxic intermediates, and membrane fatty acid composition changes by the HFD, might account for the altered hepatic antioxidant and detoxifying enzyme functions. The recovering effects of TBCSE could be attributed to high flavonoid, phenolic and organosulphur compound content, which possess free-radical-scavenging properties, enhance the antioxidant status and stimulate lipid catabolism. TBCSE intake emerges to be an effective alimentary strategy to counteract the perturbations associated with a diet rich in fat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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