Study Title:

Silymarin Lowers Cholesterol in Rabbits

Study Abstract

Atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations are still one of the most important civilization problems. New questions arise: is it really an inevitable process? Are there any rational methods to prevent the development of atherosclerotic changes or to facilitate its regression? The aim of the work was to evaluate the influence of bioflavonoids extracted from milk thistle (Sylibum marianum L), troxerutin (O-(beta-hydroxy-ethyl)-ruozid and lecithin, administered together and as a single therapy, on the experimental atherosclerosis development in rabbits. Sixty male mixed-breed rabbits were randomly assigned to 6 equal groups: I--control, II--fed on fat-rich diet (FR/DB), III--fed on FR-diet and sylimaryn concentrate (S), IV--animals fed on FR-diet and troxerutin (T), V--rabbits fed on FR-diet and soya bean lecithin (L), VI--animals fed on FR-diet and sylimaryn-phospholipid complex (SF). The whole experiment lasted 12 weeks. Following tests have been performed: electrocardiographic, biochemical, pathomorphological (including macroscopic and microscopic evaluations of aorta). Biochemical analysis included: cholesterol concentration (total, low density lipoprotein fraction cholesterol and high density fraction cholesterol), triglycerides, b-lipoproteins, phospholipids, fibrinogen, trace elements (calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper) and dimalonic aldehyde concentration. Concentrations of ascorbyl free radical, total cholesterol, triglycerides, P-450 cytochrome and phospholipids in liver have been estimated. Evident normalization of lipid metabolism and inhibition of atherosclerotic changes have been observed in the group of animals fed on SF complex. Concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol fraction, phospholipids and triglycerides decreased in serum. Decrease of serum dimalonic aldehyde was followed by increase of ascorbyl free radicals concentration in liver. Significant increase of serum zinc has been also noted, which exceeded values observed in control group. Concentration of P-450 cytochrome increased in liver microsomes. Sylimaryn and lecithin showed less anti-atherosclerotic activity, and troxerutin displayed the least anti-atherosclerotic activity (Tab. 1-2, Fig. 1-2). On the basis of the achieved results the following conclusions were drawn: 1) Sylimaryn and lecithin have anti-atherosclerotic activity in rabbits. 2) Sylimaryn-phospholipid complex shows the strongest anti-atherosclerotic activity. 3) The achieved results allow us to undertake clinical trials using SF-complex in prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.

Study Information

Białecka M.
The effect of bioflavonoids and lecithin on the course of experimental atherosclerosis in rabbits
Ann Acad Med Stetin.
1997 January

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