Hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective effects of "triguero" asparagus from andalusia in rats fed a high cholesterol diet

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:814752. doi: 10.1155/2012/814752. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


The cultivated species of the wild autochthonous Asparagus officinalis in Andalusia in Spain is commonly called "triguero" asparagus. This vegetable has traditionally been very much appreciated for its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. This study has been designed to evaluate the potential effect of different concentrations of freeze-dried asparagus (500, 250, and 125 mg/Kg of body weight/day) on oxidative status and lipid profile in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. After five weeks of treatment, doses of 250 and 500 mg/Kg of asparagus were able to significantly reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. Atherogenic index was also significantly reduced in a dose-dependent manner by administrating freeze-dried asparagus. A beneficial effect was observed in the HDL cholesterol levels in asparagus-fed groups although the increase was not significant. Consumption of asparagus also improved antioxidant status, assayed superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzymes, and protected against lipid peroxidation. These results show that the intake of green asparagus from Andalusia (Spain) helps to regulate plasma lipid levels and prevents oxidative damage in hypercholesterolemic conditions.