Background: Previous studies suggest that chemical constituents present in Pinus eldarica Medw (P. eldarica) nut possess antioxidant properties that may positively influence lipid profile. The present study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of P. eldarica nut on the experimental atherosclerosis development in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.
Methods: Forty male 6 months old white New Zealand rabbits (1.8-2 kg) were randomly assigned into five equal groups. One group was kept as control (normal) group, fed on standard rabbit diet and other 4 groups were fed on high cholesterol diet (HCD). Out of four HCD groups one group was kept as control (HCD) and other three groups were treated with different doses (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg/day) of P. eldarica nut for 8 weeks. Percentage of aortic wall area changes as indication of atherosclerosis development and fasting blood cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels were determined in all groups.
Results: The results indicate that fasting blood cholesterol and aortic atherosclerotic involvements in 200 mg/kg/day and 100 mg/kg/day P. eldarica nut extract treated groups significantly decreased as compared to the high cholesterol-diet control group.
Conclusion: P. eldarica nut lowers blood cholesterol level and aortic atherosclerotic involvement in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.