Carrot Juice Administration Decreases Liver Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase 1 and Improves Docosahexaenoic Acid Levels, but Not Steatosis in High Fructose Diet-Fed Weanling Wistar Rats

Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2016 Sep;21(3):171-180. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2016.21.3.171. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent liver diseases associated with an altered lifestyle, besides genetic factors. The control and management of NAFLD mostly depend on lifestyle modifications, due to the lack of a specific therapeutic approach. In this context, we assessed the effect of carrot juice on the development of high fructose-induced hepatic steatosis. For this purpose, male weanling Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups, fed either a control (Con) or high fructose (HFr) diet of AIN93G composition, with or without carrot juice (CJ) for 8 weeks. At the end of the experimental period, plasma biochemical markers, such as triglycerides, alanine aminotransferase, and β-hydroxy butyrate levels were comparable among the 4 groups. Although, the liver injury marker, aspartate aminotransferase, levels in plasma showed a reduction, hepatic triglycerides levels were not significantly reduced by carrot juice ingestion in the HFr diet-fed rats (HFr-CJ). On the other hand, the key triglyceride synthesis pathway enzyme, hepatic stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), expression at mRNA level was augmented by carrot juice ingestion, while their protein levels showed a significant reduction, which corroborated with decreased monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), particularly palmitoleic (C16:1) and oleic (C18:1) acids. Notably, it also improved the long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22:6) content of the liver in HFr-CJ. In conclusion, carrot juice ingestion decreased the SCD1-mediated production of MUFA and improved DHA levels in liver, under high fructose diet-fed conditions. However, these changes did not significantly lower the hepatic triglyceride levels.

Keywords: PUFA; carotenoids; elongases; fatty liver; vegetables.