Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), an oriental herbal medicine, has been shown to favorably affect choleretic, antirheumatic and diuretin properties. Recent reports have indicated that excessive oxidative stress contributes to the development of atherosclerosis-linked metabolic syndrome. The objective of this current study was to investigate the possible hypolipidemic and antioxidative effects of dandelion root and leaf in rabbits fed with a high-cholesterol diet. A group of twenty eight male rabbits was divided into four subgroups; a normal diet group, a high-cholesterol diet group, a high-cholesterol diet with 1% (w/w) dandelion leaf group, and a high-cholesterol diet with 1% (w/w) dandelion root group. After the treatment period, the plasma antioxidant enzymes and lipid profiles were determined. Our results show that treatment with dandelion root and leaf positively changed plasma antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles in cholesterol-fed rabbits, and thus may have potential hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects. Dandelion root and leaf could protect against oxidative stress linked atherosclerosis and decrease the atherogenic index.
Keywords: Taraxacum officinale; antioxidant activity; atherosclerosis; dandelion; hypolipidemic effects.