Advanced glycation end products contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetic complications and atherosclerosis. Aqueous extracts of ground pepper, cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, and clove were analyzed and tested for anti-atherosclerotic activity in vitro and in vivo using hypercholesterolemic zebrafish. Cinnamon and clove extracts (at final 10 μg/mL) had the strongest anti-glycation and antioxidant activity in this study. Cinnamon and clove had the strongest inhibition of activity against copper-mediated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and LDL phagocytosis by macrophages. Cinnamon or clove extracts had potent cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitory activity in a concentration-dependent manner. They exhibited hypolipidemic activity in a hypercholesterolemic zebrafish model; the clove extract-treated group had a 68% and 80% decrease in serum cholesterol and TG levels, respectively. The clove extract-fed group had the smallest increase in body weight and height and the strongest antioxidant activity following a 5-week high cholesterol diet. Hydrophilic ingredients of cinnamon and clove showed potent activities to suppress the incidence of atherosclerosis and diabetes via strong antioxidant potential, prevention of apoA-I glycation and LDL-phagocytosis, inhibition of CETP, and hypolipidemic activity. These results suggest the potential to develop a new functional dietary agent to treat chronic metabolic diseases, such as hyperlipidemia and diabetes.
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