Regulatory/modulatory effect of prune essence concentrate on intestinal function and blood lipids

Pharm Biol. 2017 Dec;55(1):974-979. doi: 10.1080/13880209.2017.1285323.

Abstract

Context: Prunus domestica Linn (Rosaceae) has been considered a functional food, owing to its various pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and anticancer.

Objective: This placebo-controlled, randomized study was framed to check the beneficial activity of prune essence concentrates (PEC) in corroboration with intestinal function and lipid profile in mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects.

Materials and methods: Sixty healthy mild hypercholesterolemic subjects were randomly chosen and segregated into three groups as placebo (consume 50 mL of simulated prune drink), PEC I (consume 50 mL of PEC/day) and PEC II (consume 100 mL of PEC/day) for 4 weeks with 2 weeks of follow-up without PEC consumption.

Results: Intake of PEC (I and II) for 4 weeks substantially ameliorated (p < 0.05) the colony number of Bifidobacterium spp. (1.18- and 1.19-fold) and Lactobacillus spp. (1.07- and 1.16-fold), but markedly lowered (p < 0.05) the colony number of Clostridium perfringens (5.97 and 8.35%) and Escherichia coli (6.25 and 9.38%). Meanwhile, the total cholesterol (TC; 5.90 and 6.99%) levels and LDL-c (6.68 and 6.53%) were significantly reduced (p < 0.05), but no change in other lipid parameters. Whereas, the antioxidant capacity was also concomitantly elevated (p < 0.05) upon administration with PEC.

Discussion and conclusion: Overall, the results suggest that the use of PEC may positively regulate the intestinal microflora and thereby effectively lower the TC levels and thus act as a hypocholesterolemic agent.

Keywords: Hypercholesterolemic; antioxidant capacity; intestinal microflora; lipid profile.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Down-Regulation
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnosis
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Prunus domestica / chemistry*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Taiwan
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances

Grant support

This study was financially supported by Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan (CSMUH-10056).