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Effects of soy isoflavone genistein on lipid profile and hepatic steatosis in high-fat-fed Wistar rats

Deepa Kameswari Perumal, Mangaiarkkarasi Adhimoolam, Erli Amel Ivan, Meher Ali Rajamohammed.


Background: Hyperlipidemia is a major cause of atherosclerosis-induced conditions such as coronary heart disease, ischemic cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease. Due to various adverse effects with the current pharmacological therapy, many plant-derived compounds are being tested to lower serum lipid levels. Genistein, a soy isoflavone, showed promising results in several studies.

Aims and Objectives: The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of genistein on serum lipid profile and its hepatoprotective activity in hyperlipidemic male albino Wistar rats.

Materials and Methods: Thirty-six male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups. Animals were given high cholesterol diet (0.75% cholesterol + 1.5% bile salt) to induce hyperlipidemia. The animals were treated with atorvastatin (10 mg/kg oral) and genistein (1 mg/kg oral and 5 mg/kg oral) once daily for a period of 30 days. Blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis of lipoproteins and a portion of liver tissue was taken for histopathological examination. Statistical analysis was performed by one-way analysis of variance test followed by post hoc DunnettÂ’s multiple comparison test. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Oral administration of genistein showed a significant reduction in serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein levels. Histopathological examination of liver showed a significant reduction in hepatic steatosis (P < 0.001) with no inflammatory changes as compared to high cholesterol-treated rats.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated significant hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective activities of genistein at a dose of 5 mg/kg in the experimental rats.

Key words: Genistein; Hypolipidemia; Hepatic Steatosis; High-fat Diet

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