2007 Volume 53 Issue 2 Pages 133-137
Angelica keiskei (Ashitaba) is a perennial plant belonging to the Umbelliferae family. Recently, much attention has been focused on Ashitaba products as a so-called health food for the breakdown of cellulite among various physiological benefits of Ashitaba. The current study was carried out to investigate the physiological efficacy of dietary Ashitaba on serum and liver lipid profiles and body fat accumulation in rats. Rats were fed a high-fat diet with various amounts of Ashitaba for 28 d. Perirenal adipose tissue weights of rats fed the ×10 (170 mg/100 g BW) Ashitaba diet were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those of the control group. Serum triacylglycerol concentrations of rats fed the ×100 (1,700 mg/100 g BW) Ashitaba diet were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those of the ×1 (17 mg/100 g BW) group. Fecal weights and bile acid excretions of rats fed the ×10 or ×100 Ashitaba diet were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those of the control group. However, there were no significant differences in the body weight gain, epididymal adipose tissue weight, serum cholesterol or liver lipid concentrations or other biochemical profiles in the serum. Furthermore, even the excessive ingestion of Ashitaba had no significant pathological impact on the liver or kidney. These results indicate that the large intake of Ashitaba products may supply dietary fiber and thus improve gastrointestinal condition through the increased excretion of feces containing high level of bile acids, although even excessive intake of Ashitaba for a short period of 28 d did not show any impact on the decrease in body fat or modification of lipid profiles in this study.