This study investigated the effect of kimchi on hepatic lipid metabolism and inflammatory response. Low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice fed high cholesterol diet (HCD) with an oral administration of kimchi methanol extracts (KME, 200 mg kg bw-1 day-1) or distilled water for 8 weeks (n = 10 per group). Compared with the control group, plasma and hepatic lipid concentrations were lower in the kimchi group (p < 0.05), which was confirmed with hepatic histological examination by Oil Red O staining. Hepatic expressions for fatty acid synthesis were downregulated whereas those for beta-oxidation were upregulated in the kimchi group (p < 0.05). Hepatic expressions for cholesterol synthesis were decreased but those for cholesterol export was increased in the kimchi group (p < 0.05). Moreover, kimchi intake reduced expression for inflammatory cytokines (p < 0.05). Kimchi exerted beneficial effects on HCD-induced hepatic damage by suppressing lipid synthesis and inflammation, and facilitating fatty acid oxidation and cholesterol excretion.
Keywords: High cholesterol diet; Inflammation; Kimchi; Lipid metabolism; Liver disease.