Metabolomics of ginger essential oil against alcoholic fatty liver in mice

J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 20;61(46):11231-40. doi: 10.1021/jf403523g. Epub 2013 Nov 12.


Fatty liver is significantly associated with hepatic cirrhosis and liver cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption causes alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). Ginger has been reported to exhibit antioxidant potential and hepatoprotective activity. In the present study, a mouse model for AFLD was developed by employing male C57BL/6 mice that were fed an alcohol-containing liquid diet (Lieber-DeCarli diet) ad libitum. In the treatment groups, ginger essential oil (GEO) and citral were orally administered every day for 4 weeks. Serum biochemical analysis, antioxidant enzyme activity analysis, and histopathological evaluation revealed that GEO and citral exhibited hepatoprotective activity against AFLD. Metabolites in serum samples were profiled by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-QTOF-MS). Metabolomic data indicated the amounts of metabolites such as d-glucurono-6,3-lactone, glycerol-3-phosphate, pyruvic acid, lithocholic acid, 2-pyrocatechuic acid, and prostaglandin E1 were increased after alcohol administration, but the levels were recovered in treatment groups. The analysis indicated that ginger possesses hepatoprotective properties against AFLD. Furthermore, these metabolites can serve as early noninvasive candidate biomarkers in the clinical application of AFLD for health management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Liver, Alcoholic / drug therapy*
  • Fatty Liver, Alcoholic / metabolism
  • Ginger / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybenzoates / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolomics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Pyruvic Acid / metabolism


  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid
  • Pyruvic Acid