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PLoS One. 2016 Feb 25;11(2):e0149670. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149670. eCollection 2016.

White Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus) Juice Attenuates Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Steatosis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice.

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College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, P. R. China.
Fuli Institute of Food Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, P. R. China.


Insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis are the most common complications of obesity. Pitaya is an important source of phytochemicals such as polyphenols, flavonoid and vitamin C which are related to its antioxidant activity. The present study was conducted to evaluate the influence of white pitaya juice (WPJ) on obesity-related metabolic disorders (e.g. insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis) in high-fat diet-fed mice. Forty-eight male C57BL/6J mice were assigned into four groups and fed low-fat diet with free access to water or WPJ, or fed high-fat diet with free access to water or WPJ for 14 weeks. Our results showed that administration of WPJ improved high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis and adipose hypertrophy, but it exerted no influence on body weight gain in mice. Hepatic gene expression analysis indicated that WPJ supplement not only changed the expression profile of genes involved in lipid and cholesterol metabolism (Srebp1, HMGCoR, Cpt1b, HL, Insig1 and Insig2) but also significantly increased the expression levels of FGF21-related genes (Klb, FGFR2, Egr1 and cFos). In conclusion, WPJ protected from diet-induced hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, which was associated with the improved FGF21 resistance and lipid metabolism.

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