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Nutr Res. 2013 May;33(5):406-13. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

Aronia melanocarpa (chokeberry) polyphenol-rich extract improves antioxidant function and reduces total plasma cholesterol in apolipoprotein E knockout mice.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


We hypothesized that a polyphenol-rich chokeberry extract (CBE) would modulate hepatic lipid metabolism and improve antioxidant function in apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE(-/-)) mice. ApoE(-/-) mice were fed diets containing 15% fat with 0.2% cholesterol alone or supplemented with 0.005% or 0.05% CBE for 4 weeks. CBE polyphenol content was determined by the total phenols, 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde, and ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry methods. The 0.05% CBE diet provided mice with mean daily doses of 1.2 mg gallic acid equivalents of total phenols, 0.19 mg anthocyanins, 0.17 mg phenolic acids, 0.06 mg proanthocyanidins (as catechin-equivalents), and 0.02 mg flavonols. The 0.05% CBE group had 12% less plasma total cholesterol concentrations than the control. Despite the hypocholesterolemic effect of CBE, hepatic mRNA levels of low-density lipoprotein receptor, hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase in CBE-fed mice were not significantly different from controls. Dietary CBE did not alter hepatic lipid content or the hepatic expression of genes involved in lipogenesis and fatty acid β-oxidation such as fatty acid synthase, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 and acyl-CoA oxidase. Plasma paraoxonase and catalase activities were significantly increased in mice fed 0.05% CBE. Both CBE diets increased hepatic glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity but the 0.05% CBE group had 24% less proximal intestine GPx activity relative to controls. Thus, dietary CBE lowered total cholesterol and improved plasma and hepatic antioxidant function at nutritionally-relevant doses in apoE(-/-) mice. Furthermore, the CBE cholesterol-lowering mechanism in apoE(-/-) mice was independent of hepatic expression of genes involved in cholesterol metabolism.

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