Background: Atherosclerosis remains one of the leading causes of death all over the world. Flax, pumpkin and purslane seeds are rich sources of unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and fibers, known to have antiatherogenic activities.
Aims: This study was to examine the efficiency of using either flax/pumpkin or purslane/pumpkin seed mixture (components of ω-3 and ω-6) on hyperlipidemia, kidney function and as immunomodulators in rats fed high cholesterol diets.
Materials and methods: 40 male albino rats were divided into four groups: control group, hypercholesterolemic rats, fed the balanced diet supplemented with cholesterol at a dose level of 2 g/100 g diet; the other two groups of animals fed the same previous hypercholesterolemic diet supplemented with either flax/pumpkin seed mixture or pumpkin/purslane seed mixture at ratio of (5/1) (ω-3 and ω-6).
Results: The present study showed that 2% cholesterol administration caused a significant increase in total cholesterol, total lipids, and triacylglycerol in both serum and liver. Serum phospholipids, LDL-C, and atherogenic index AI also significantly increased compared to control group. Cholesterol-enriched diet significantly increased serum urea, creatinine, sodium and potassium levels as well as significantly increased serum IgG and IgM compared to healthy control. Consumption of flax/pumpkin or purslane/pumpkin seed mixtures by hypercholesterolemic rats resulted in a significantly decrement in lipid parameters and significant improvement in IgG and IgM levels as compared with hypercholesterolemic rats.
Conclusion: Our results suggests that both flax/pumpkin and purslane/pumpkin seed mixtures had anti-atherogenic hypolipidemic and immunmodulator effects which were probably mediated by unsaturated fatty acids (including alpha linolenic acid) present in seed mixture.
Keywords: Hypercholesterolemia; IgG; IgM; flax; kidney; pumpkin; purslane seeds.