Effects of lotus root (the edible rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera) on the deveolopment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in obese diabetic db/db mice.Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2012; 76(3):462-6BB
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common liver disease in industrialized countries. The discovery of food components that would ameliorate NAFLD is therefore of interest. Lotus root, the edible rhizome of Nelumbo nucifera, contains a high level of polyphenolic compounds, and several health-promoting properties of lotus root have been reported. The present study examines whether dietary lotus root powder can protect db/db mice from hepatic injury. After 3 weeks of feeding, the hepatomegaly, hepatic triglyceride accumulation, and elevated hepatic injury markers in the serum were markedly alleviated in the Lotus diet-fed db/db mice relative to the control mice. These effects were partly attributable to suppression of the lipogenic enzyme activities and mRNA expression by the Lotus diet. The serum levels of adiponectin, which has been reported to have a protective effect against NAFLD, were significantly higher in the Lotus group than in the Control group of the db/db mice. Moreover, the hepatic expression of such inflammatory genes as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were markedly suppressed by the Lotus diet. We speculate that the development and progression of NAFLD were prevented by suppressing the expression of lipogenic and inflammatory genes as a result of the higher serum adioponectin level in the Lotus diet-fed db/db mice.