Aronia fruits (chokeberry: Aronia melanocarpa E.) containing phenolic phytochemicals, such as cyanidin 3-glycosides and chlorogenic acid, have attracted considerable attention because of their potential human health benefits in humans including antioxidant activities and ability to improved vision. In the present study, the effects of anthocyanin-rich phytochemicals from aronia fruits (aronia phytochemicals) on visceral fat accumulation and fasting hyperglycemia were examined in rats fed a high-fat diet (Experiment 1). Total visceral fat mass was significantly lower in rats fed aronia phytochemicals than that in both the control group and bilberry phytochemicals-supplemented rats (p < 0.05). Moreover, perirenal and epididymal adipose tissue mass in rats fed aronia phytochemicals was significantly lower than that in both the control and bilberry phytochemicals group. Additionally, the mesenteric adipose tissue mass in aronia phytochemicals-fed rats was significantly low (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the fasting blood glucose levels significantly decreased in rats fed aronia phytochemicals for 4 weeks compared to that in the control rats (p < 0.05). Therefore, we investigated the effects of phytochemicals on postprandial hyperlipidemia after corn oil loading in rats, pancreatic lipase activity in vitro, and the plasma glycemic response after sucrose loading in order to elucidate the preventive factor of aronia phytochemical on visceral fat accumulation. In the oral corn oil tolerance tests (Experiment 2), aronia phytochemicals significantly inhibited the increases in plasma triglyceride levels, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 1.50 mg/mL. However, the inhibitory activity was similar to that of bilberry and tea catechins. In the sucrose tolerance tests (Experiment 3), aronia phytochemicals also significantly inhibited the increases in blood glucose levels that were observed in the control animals (p < 0.05). These results suggest that anthocyanin-rich phytochemicals in aronia fruits suppress visceral fat accumulation and hyperglycemia by inhibiting pancreatic lipase activity and/or intestinal lipid absorption.
2015 by Japan Oil Chemists' Society