Red Cabbage Microgreens Lower Circulating Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), Liver Cholesterol, and Inflammatory Cytokines in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet

J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Dec 7;64(48):9161-9171. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b03805. Epub 2016 Nov 28.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, and hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor. Population studies, as well as animal and intervention studies, support the consumption of a variety of vegetables as a means to reduce CVD risk through modulation of hypercholesterolemia. Microgreens of a variety of vegetables and herbs have been reported to be more nutrient dense compared to their mature counterparts. However, little is known about the effectiveness of microgreens in affecting lipid and cholesterol levels. The present study used a rodent diet-induced obesity (DIO) model to address this question. C57BL/6NCr mice (n = 60, male, 5 weeks old) were randomly assigned to six feeding groups: (1) low-fat diet; (2) high-fat diet; (3) low-fat diet + 1.09% red cabbage microgreens; (4) low-fat diet + 1.66% mature red cabbage; (5) high-fat diet + 1.09% red cabbage microgreens; (6) high-fat diet + 1.66% mature red cabbage. The animals were on their respective diets for 8 weeks. We found microgreen supplementation attenuated high-fat diet induced weight gain. Moreover, supplementation with microgreens significantly lowered circulating LDL levels in animals fed the high-fat diet and reduced hepatic cholesterol ester, triacylglycerol levels, and expression of inflammatory cytokines in the liver. These data suggest that microgreens can modulate weight gain and cholesterol metabolism and may protect against CVD by preventing hypercholesterolemia.

Keywords: cholesterol; inflammation; microgreen; red cabbage; triacylglycerol.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / chemistry
  • Brassica*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Glucosinolates / chemistry
  • Hypercholesterolemia / prevention & control
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Polyphenols / chemistry
  • Random Allocation
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Weight Gain


  • Anthocyanins
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cytokines
  • Glucosinolates
  • Lipids
  • Polyphenols
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol