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Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Vol. 29 (2006) No. 12 P 2532-2535




The effect of young and mature persimmon fruits on lipid metabolism was investigated in a diet-induced murine obesity model. A commercially purchased high fat diet (Quick Fat, CLEA Japan) was used as the basal diet. Dried and powdered young and mature fruits of two breeds of persimmon, Fuyu-kaki and Hachiya-kaki, were added to the basal diet at a concentration of 10%, respectively. Male C57BL/6 mice (n=4) were divided into five groups and fed the basal diet or one of the persimmon-supplemented basal diets ad libitum for 14 weeks. Diets supplemented with both types of young fruit significantly reduced the rise in plasma lipids, including total cholesterol (p<0.005), triglyceride (p<0.05), and LDL cholesterol (p<0.05), and the effect was almost equal between the two breeds. Real-time RT-PCR revealed that both of these young fruit-supplemented diets equally up-regulated expression of the cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) gene in the liver by about three-fold (p<0.05). CYP7A1 plays an important role in maintaining cholesterol homeostasis by regulating bile acid synthesis, suggesting that increased conversion of cholesterol to bile acids may have caused the cholesterol-lowering effect of the young fruits. The results indicate that young persimmon fruits are beneficial in the development of preventive and therapeutic agents against dyslipidemia.

Copyright © 2006 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan

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