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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2013 Jun;68(2):118-23. doi: 10.1007/s11130-013-0345-1.

Amelioration of cholesterol induced atherosclerosis by normalizing gene expression, cholesterol profile and antioxidant enzymes by Vigna unguiculata.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus, Trivandrum, India.


Cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis, have found to be the dreadful diseases worldwide and therapeutic interventions using plant sources have wide therapeutic value. Vigna unguiculata (VU) leaves have been used as food and therapeutics. Hence, our study was designed to evaluate the hypolipidemic as well as anti-atherogenic potential of VU leaves in normalizing atherogenic gene expression, cholesterol profile, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant enzyme system on cholesterol fed rabbit model. For the study New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into four groups of six animals each and experimental period was three months; group -i - ND [normal diet (40 g feed)], group-ii- ND (normal diet) +EAVU [ethyl acetate fraction of Vigna unguiculata (150 mg/kg body weight)], group -iii- ND [normal diet ]+ CFD [cholesterol fed diet (cholesterol 1 % of 40 g feed and cholic acid 0.5 % of 40 g feed)] and group-iv - ND [normal diet] +CFD [cholesterol fed diet ]+EAVU [ethyl acetate fraction of Vigna unguiculata (150 mg/kg body weight)]. Atherosclerosis was induced by feeding the rabbit with cholesterol (1 % of 40 g feed) and cholic acid (0.5 % of 40 g feed). Supplementation of EAVU normalized cholesterol profile, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation products like thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), antioxidant system and important genes of cardiovascular diseases like interleukin-10 (IL 10), paraoxanase-1 (PON I), interleukin-6 (IL 6), and cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox 2) to near normal level as compared with normal diet. The result obtained showed the antioxidant as well as anti-atherogenic potential of Vigna unguiculata leaves in ameliorating cholesterol induced atherosclerosis, and thus it is good task to include VU leaves in daily diet for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases especially atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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