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Title: Polysaccharide gel coating of the leaves of Brasenia schreberi lowers plasma cholesterol in hamsters

item KIM, HYUNSOOK - University Of California
item WANG, QUIAN - Jiangnan University
item ZHONG, FANG - Jiangnan University
item SHOEMAKER, CHARLES - University Of California
item Bartley, Glenn
item Yokoyama, Wallace - Wally

Submitted to: Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2014
Publication Date: 12/17/2014
Citation: Kim, H., Wang, Q., Zhong, F., Shoemaker, C.F., Bartley, G.E., Yokoyama, W.H. 2014. Polysaccharide gel coating of the leaves of Brasenia schreberi lowers plasma cholesterol in hamsters. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 5(1):56-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2014.10.003.

Interpretive Summary: The a gel coating forms on the submerged leaves of the water plant, Brasenia schreberi, found in Asia and North America. In Asia it is cultivated for food but is considered a waterway fouling nuisance in the U.S. The gel was stripped from the leaves, dried and fed to hamsters on a high fat diet. Plasma cholesterol was reduced but body weight increased.

Technical Abstract: Brasenia schreberi is an invasive aquatic weed in the U.S. but the plant has economic value in Asia where it is cultivated for food. The young leaves of B. schreberi are coated with gelatinous water-insoluble mucilage. This mucilage is a polysaccharide composed of galactose, mannose, fucose and other monosaccharides. Since some carbohydrate gels are hypocholesterolemic, we evaluated the cholesterol lowering properties in male hamsters fed hypercholesterolemic diets containing either 2% gel coat from B. schreberi (GEL), or 1% cholestyramine (CA), or 5% hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and compared them to 5% microcrystalline cellulose (control) for 3 weeks. We found that plasma VLDL-, LDL-, and total-cholesterol concentrations were significantly lowered by GEL, CA, and HPMC compared to control. HDL-cholesterol concentration was lowered by CA and HPMC. Body weights were not changed by any treatment but abdominal adipose tissue weight from GEL fed animals was greater compared to the control group. Fecal lipid excretion was greater in the CA and HPMC than the control. Expression of hepatic CYP51 and CYP7A1 mRNA was up-regulated by CA, HPMC and GEL, indicating increased hepatic cholesterol and bile acid synthesis. Expression of LDLR mRNA was up-regulated by all treatments. These results suggest that modulation of hepatic expression of cholesterol and bile acid metabolism-regulated genes contributes to the cholesterol-lowering effects of GEL.