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J Med Food. 2012 May;15(5):495-503. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.1717.

Raspberry ketone protects rats fed high-fat diets against nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

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College of Food, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.


The protective effect of raspberry ketone against nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) was tested by using a high-fat diet-induced NASH model, and its mechanism was explored. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats with a 1:1 male to female ratio were randomly divided into five groups: the normal control (NC) group (n=8) fed normal diet for 8 weeks, the model control (MC) group (n=8) fed high-fat diet (82% standard diet, 8.3% yolk powder, 9.0% lard, 0.5% cholesterol, and 0.2% sodium taurocholate), and the raspberry ketone low-dose (0.5%) (RKL) group (n=8), the raspberry ketone middle-dose (1%) (RKM) group (n=8), and the raspberry ketone high-dose (2%) (RKH) group (n=8) fed high-fat diet for 4 weeks. After 8 weeks of experiment, all the rats were sacrificed, and blood lipid parameters (total cholesterol [TC], triglycerides [TG], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C]), liver function parameters (serum alanine aminotransferase [ALT], aspartate aminotransferase [AST], and alkaline phosphatase [ALP]), leptin (LEP), free fatty acid (FFA), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), blood glucose (GLU), and insulin (INS) with calculated INS resistance index (IRI) and INS-sensitive index (ISI) were measured in rats. Therefore, we determined the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α activity in liver homogenate and the levels of low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), adiponection (APN), superoxide dismutase, and malondialdehyde (MDA). The liver tissues of rats in each group were imaged by electron microscopy with hematoxylin-eosin as the staining agent. The levels of TG, TC, LDL-C, ALT, AST, ALP, GLU, INS, IRI, FFA, LEP, TNF-α, MDA, and hs-CRP of MC rats were significantly increased (P<.05, P<.01). Therefore, the levels of HDL-C, ISI, PPAR-α, LDLR, and APN were significantly decreased (P<.05, P<.01). Compared with the MC group, each parameter in the RKL, RKM, and RKH groups was significantly improved (P<.05, P<.01). Thus raspberry ketone was an effective intervention for NASH in rats. It was believed that raspberry ketone had a dual effect of liver protection and fat reduction, and the mechanism was probably mediated by alleviation of fatty degeneration of liver cells, decreased liver inflammation, correction of dyslipidemia, reversal of LEP and INS resistance, and improved antioxidant capacity.

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