This study investigated the effects of freeze-dried cranberry powder on anti-inflammation and lipid profiles of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rats fed an atherogenic diet for 6 weeks. Forty Sprague-Dawley male rats (6-weeks-old) were equally divided into the following five groups: 1) normal diet group + saline (NC); 2) atherogenic diet + saline (HFC); 3) atherogenic diet + LPS (HL); 4) atherogenic diet with 5% cranberry power + LPS (C5); 5) atherogenic diet with 10% cranberry power + LPS (C10). LPS (0.5 mg/kg) was injected into the abdominal cavities of rats 18 hours prior to sacrifice. At the end of the experimental period, we measured serum lipid profiles as well as levels of serum C-reactive protein (CRP), nitric oxide (NO), and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 as an anti-inflammatory cytokine. The mean serum high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol level in C5 rats was significantly higher than that in NC and HL rats (P < 0.05). The mean serum levels of CRP and IL-1β were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the cranberry powder groups compared to those in HL rats. Additionally, mean serum IL-6 levels tended to be lower in the cranberry groups than that in the HL group, whereas serum IL-10 and NO showed 29% and 88% higher mean values in the C5 group and 49% and 24% higher in the C10 group than those in the HL group, respectively. These results suggest that freeze-dried cranberry powder may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases by modifying serum lipids and the early inflammatory response.
Keywords: Cranberry powder; IL-10; IL-1β; atherogenic diet; c-reactive protein (CRP).