BACKGROUND: Rice α-globulin has been reported to have serum cholesterol-lowering activity in rats. However, it is still unclear whether α-globulin exerts this effect when taken as one of the dietary components. In the present study, we investigated the effect of two cultivars of rice, low glutelin content (LGC)-1 and LGC-Jun, on reducing serum cholesterol in exogenously hypercholesterolemic (ExHC) rats. LGC-1 is enriched in α-globulin (10.6 mg g−1 rice flour, which is an approximately 1.5 times higher α-globulin content than in Koshihikari a predominant rice cultivar in Japan), whereas LGC-Jun is a globulin-negative cultivar. METHODS: ExHC rats, the model strain of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia, were fed 50% LGC-1 or LGC-Jun and 0.5% cholesterol-containing diets for 2 weeks, followed by measurement of cholesterol metabolism parameters in serum and tissues. RESULTS: Serum cholesterol and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the LGC-1 group compared to the LGC-Jun group. Cholesterol intestinal absorption markers, hepatic and serum levels of campesterol and β-sitosterol, and lymphatic cholesterol transport were not different between the two groups. Levels of 7α-hydroxycholesterol, an intermediate of bile acid synthesis, showed a downward trend in the livers of rats that were fed LGC-1 (P = 0.098). There was a significant decrease in the hepatic mRNA expression of Cyp7a1 (a synthetic enzyme for 7α-hydroxycholesterol) in the LGC-1 group compared to the LGC-Jun group. CONCLUSION: Dietary LGC-1 significantly decreased serum cholesterol levels in ExHC rats. The possible mechanism for the cholesterol-lowering activity of LGC-1 is partial inhibition of bile acid and cholesterol synthesis in the liver.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics