Effect of sesame seeds rich in sesamin and sesamolin on fatty acid oxidation in rat liver

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 May;49(5):2647-51. doi: 10.1021/jf001362t.


Activities of enzymes involved in hepatic fatty acid oxidation and synthesis among rats fed sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) differing in lignan content (sesamin and sesamolin) were compared. Sesame seeds rich in lignans from two lines, 0730 and 0732, lines established in this laborary, and those from a conventional cultivar (Masekin) were employed. Seeds from the 0730 and 0732 lines contained sesamin and sesamolin at amounts twice those from Masekin. Sesame seeds were added at levels of 200 g/kg to the experimental diets. Sesame increased both the hepatic mitochondrial and the peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation rate. Increases were greater with sesame rich in lignans than with Maskin. Noticeably, peroxisomal activity levels were >3 times higher in rats fed diets containing sesame seeds from the 0730 and 0732 lines than in those fed a control diet without sesame. The diet containing Masekin seed caused only a 50% increase in the value, however. Diets containing seeds from the 0730 and 0732 lines, compared to the control and Masekin diets, also significantly increased the activity of hepatic fatty acid oxidation enzymes including acyl-CoA oxidase, carnitine palmitoyltranferase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, and 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase. In contrast, diets containing sesame lowered the activity of enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis including fatty acid synthase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, ATP-citrate lyase, and pyruvate kinase. No significant differences in enzyme activities were, however, seen among diets containing sesame from Masekin cultivar and lines 0730 and 0732. Serum triacylglycerol concentrations were lower in rats fed diets containing sesame from lines 0730 and 0732 than in those fed the control or Masekin diet. It is apparent that sesame rich in lignans more profoundly affects hepatic fatty acid oxidation and serum triacylglycerol levels. Therefore, consumption of sesame rich in lignans results in physiological activity to alter lipid metabolism in a potentially beneficial manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Dioxoles / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Lignans / pharmacology*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Dioxoles
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lignans
  • Lipids
  • sesamolin
  • sesamin