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Genes Nutr. 2015 Jul;10(4):469. doi: 10.1007/s12263-015-0469-z. Epub 2015 May 29.

Direct comparison of metabolic health effects of the flavonoids quercetin, hesperetin, epicatechin, apigenin and anthocyanins in high-fat-diet-fed mice.

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1
Human and Animal Physiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Dietary flavonoid intake is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, possibly by affecting metabolic health. The relative potency of different flavonoids in causing beneficial effects on energy and lipid metabolism has not been investigated. Effects of quercetin, hesperetin, epicatechin, apigenin and anthocyanins in mice fed a high-fat diet (HF) for 12 weeks were compared, relative to normal-fat diet. HF-induced body weight gain was significantly lowered by all flavonoids (17-29 %), but most by quercetin. Quercetin significantly lowered HF-induced hepatic lipid accumulation (71 %). Mesenteric adipose tissue weight and serum leptin levels were significantly lowered by quercetin, hesperetin and anthocyanins. Adipocyte cell size and adipose tissue inflammation were not affected. The effect on body weight and composition could not be explained by individual significant effects on energy intake, energy expenditure or activity. Lipid metabolism was not changed as measured by indirect calorimetry or expression of known lipid metabolic genes in liver and white adipose tissue. Hepatic expression of Cyp2b9 was strongly downregulated by all flavonoids. In conclusion, all flavonoids lowered parameters of HF-induced adiposity, with quercetin being most effective.

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