2010 Volume 31 Issue 4 Pages 213-218
Corosolic acid (CA), contained in the leaves of the banaba plant (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.), is a pentacyclic triterpene, and has hypoglycemic effects. The effects of CA on dietary hypercholesterolemia and hepatic steatosis were assessed in KK-Ay mice, an animal model of type 2 diabetes. Two kinds of high cholesterol diet with or without 0.023% CA, were prepared for the study. KK-Ay mice were fed a normal diet (controls), the high cholesterol diet with CA (CA-mice) or that without CA (HC-mice) for 10 weeks. CA inhibited the mean blood cholesterol level by 32% (P < 0.05) and the liver cholesterol content by 46% (P < 0.05) compared with those of HC-mice 10 weeks after the start of dietary intake. Acutely, CA inhibited the mean blood cholesterol level 4 h after the administration of a high-cholesterol cocktail in an oral cholesterol-loading test, compared with that of control mice (P < 0.05). These results suggest that CA has some direct effects on the cholesterol absorption process in the small intestine. CA may inhibit the activity of cholesterol acyltransferase, which acts in the re-esterification of cholesterol in the small intestine, in type 2 diabetes.