Citrus flavonoid may improve metabolic and inflammatory markers: Mouse study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© arsenisspyros / Getty Images
© arsenisspyros / Getty Images

Related tags Flavonoids Citrus Inflammation metabolic health

Supplementing a high-fat diet with citrus flavonoid eriocitrin may improve markers of metabolic health, inflammation and oxidative stress in obese mice eating a high-fat diet, says a new study.

The citrus flavonoid was associated with significant reductions in levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, markers of insulin resistance markers at low (10 and 25 mg/kg bw) and high (100 mg/kg bw) doses, report scientists from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, and the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

The best results were obtained at 25 mg per kg of body weight, wrote the researchers in the Journal of Nutritional Science. ​  

“Therefore, our results showed that low doses of dietary eriocitrin are able to counteract the deleterious effects of [high-fat diet] and prevent risk factors of metabolic syndrome and chronic diseases related to obesity,”​ they wrote.

“Further, the use of lower doses may help to prevent unintended complications possibly occurring at much higher doses of potent antioxidant supplements such as eriocitrin.”

The study used Eriocitrin (eriodictyol-7-O-rutinoside) produced by Ingredients by Nature (IBN). The Montclair, CA company sponsored the research.

Commenting on the new study, IBN’s President Rob Brewster said: “As a leading supplier of citrus flavonoids, we put great importance into the continual development of research into these powerful ingredients​.

“Eriocitrin is not as commonly recognized as other fruit-derived flavonoids, but the science shows that it is a potent source of health support for a variety of health complications. We look forward to seeing what future research will continue to reveal about it.”

Study details

For the new study, 40 male C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for four weeks to induce obesity, and then randomly divided into four different groups for an additional four weeks with varying doses of eriocitrin: 0, 10, 25, or 100 mg per kg of body weight. An additional control group was fed a standard diet for the whole eight weeks.

The results showed that the best results were observed for the 25 mg/kg group, with reductions in triglycerides of −31%, total-cholesterol of 6%, and liver triacylglycerols of 28%, compared to the high-fat diet group not receiving eriocitrin.

In addition, eriocitrin at 25 mg/kg was associated with a reduction in lipid peroxidation of 19 %, while markers of insulin resistance, including resistin and the insulin resistance index also decreased significantly.

The researchers also reported significant decreases in serum glucose levels of 25% and insulin levels of 35% in the 25 mg/kg dose group.

Commenting on the results, Dr Thais Cesar, associate professor of nutrition at Sao Paulo State University and corresponding author for the paper, said: “Most studies on eriocitrin haven’t explored its effect on obesity-induced metabolic disturbances and, because the global rate of obesity continues to increase, we felt that it was important to examine the topic further.

“Eriocitrin significantly improved metabolic, inflammatory and oxidative stress parameters across multiple biomarkers, showing potential to delay the development of inflammatory complications. We look forward to performing additional research on eriocitrin in the future.”

Source​: Journal of Nutritional Science
Volume 9 , 2020 , e59, doi: 10.1017/jns.2020.52
“Low doses of eriocitrin attenuate metabolic impairment of glucose and lipids in ongoing obesogenic diet in mice”
Authors: P. S. Ferreira et al.

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