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Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun;56:223-30. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.02.028. Epub 2013 Feb 24.

Effects of seaweed-restructured pork diets enriched or not with cholesterol on rat cholesterolaemia and liver damage.

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Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología I (Nutrición), Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.


Seaweed enriched-restructured pork (RP) is a potential functional food. However, indications of adverse effects associated with herbal medications, which include among others liver failure, toxic hepatitis, and death have been reported. Cholesterol feeding produces hepatomegalia and fat liver infiltration. The effect of seaweed-RP diet, cholesterol-enriched or not, on plasma cholesterol, liver damage markers, structure, and cytochrome CYP4A-1 were evaluated after 5 wk. Eight rat groups were fed a mix of 85% AIN-93M rodent-diet plus 15% RP. The Cholesterol-control (CC), Cholesterol-Wakame (CW), Cholesterol-Nori (CN) and Cholesterol-Sea Spaghetti (CS) groups respectively consumed similar diets to control (C), Wakame (W), Nori (N), and Sea Spaghetti (S) but as part of hypercholesterolaemic diets. CN and CS significantly blocked the hypercholesterolaemic effect observed in CC group. After 5-wk, N and S diets increased the CYP4A-1 expression. However, seaweed-RPs were unable to reduce the histological liver alterations observed in CC group. Larger and more abundant hepatocellular alterations were found in CS and CN rats suggesting that the hypocholesterolaemic effects of these seaweed-RPs seem to be a two-edged sword as they increased liver damage. Future studies are needed to understand the involved mechanisms.

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