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J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2014 Jan 29;13(1):20. doi: 10.1186/2251-6581-13-20.

Effect of garlic on lipid profile and expression of LXR alpha in intestine and liver of hypercholesterolemic mice.

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Department of Biochemistry, Medical School, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.



Garlic is one of the medicinal plants which has showed beneficial effects on atherosclerosis risk factors. The liver X receptor α (LXRα) is an important regulator of cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose homeostasis that belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily. In this study we investigated the effect of garlic on lipid profile, glucose as well as LXRα expression in intestine and liver of mice.


Forty male N-Mary mice were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 8): group1 received chow + 2% cholesterol + 0.5% cholic acid, group 2: chow + 4% (w/w) garlic extract + 2% cholesterol + 0.5% cholic acid, and group 3: chow only. After one month of treatment, mice were anesthetized, blood was collected from their heart, and the first 10 cm of the small intestine and liver were removed. Glucose was measured by a glucometer; other biochemical factors were measured by enzymatic methods. LXR expression was checked by RT-PCR and western blotting.


Compared with hypercholesterolemic mice, treatment with garlic extract significantly decreased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL-C), atherogenic index, alanine aminotranferease (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (all of them P < 0.05). Change in HDL-C levels was not significant in garlic-extract treated animals compared with hypercholesterolemic group. LXR protein and mRNA in the intestine were increased in garlic-extract treated group compared with chow group (P < 0.05), while in the liver, only mRNA of LXR was increased in hypercholesterolemic control mice (P < 0.05).


The present study demonstrated that garlic extract reduced LXRα expression in the liver and increased its expression in the intestine. These effects probably have an important role in reducing serum triglyceride and cholesterol.

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