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J Nutr. 1998 Nov;128(11):2023-7.

Dietary persimmon improves lipid metabolism in rats fed diets containing cholesterol.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.


The effect of dietary persimmon (Pers, 7.0%) on lipid metabolism and antioxidant activity was investigated in 40 male Wistar rats adapted to cholesterol-free or 1% cholesterol diets. The rats were divided in four groups of 10. The basal diet contained wheat starch, casein, soybean oil, and mineral and vitamin mixtures. The control group (C) consumed the basal diet. To the basal diet were added 7 g/100 g dry persimmon (Pers), 1 g/100 g cholesterol (Chol), or both (Chol/Pers). The experiment lasted 4 wk. Plasma total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), total phospholipids (TPH), HDL phospholipids (HDL-PH), lipid peroxides (LP) and liver TC concentrations were measured. Groups did not differ before the experiment. In the Chol/Pers vs. Chol group, the persimmon-supplemented diet significantly (P < 0.05) lessened the rise in plasma lipids due to dietary cholesterol: TC (3.88 vs. 4. 88 mmol/L; -20%), LDL-C (2.24 vs. 3.27 mmol/L; -31%), TG (0.72 vs. 0. 89 mmol/L; -19%), LP (2.20 vs. 3.25 mmol/L; -32%) and TC in liver (32.8 vs. 49.9 micromol/g; -34%), (P < 0.001). The Chol/Pers diet significantly reduced the decrease in HDL-PH due to dietary cholesterol (0.73 vs. 0.58 mmol/L; -25.8%, P < 0.001) and decreased the level of TPH (1.32 vs. 1.73 mmol/L; -23%, P < 0.001). Persimmon in rats fed the basal diet without cholesterol did not significantly affect the variables measured. These results demonstrate that persimmon possesses hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties that are evident when persimmon is added to the diet of rats fed cholesterol. These properties are attributed to its water-soluble dietary fiber, carotenoids and polyphenols.

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