Background/objectives: Ginger, a root vegetable, is known to have antioxidant and antiobesity effects. Preparation, such as by steaming, can affect the chemical composition of prepared root vegetables or herbs and can change their functional activities. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects of steamed ginger against oxidative stress and steatosis in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet.
Materials/methods: The levels of polyphenols and flavonoids in two different extracts of steamed ginger, i.e., water extract (SGW) and ethanolic extract (SGE); as well, their antioxidant activities were examined. Forty male C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal diet (ND, n = 10), high-fat diet (HFD, 60% fat, w/w, n = 10), HFD supplemented with 200 mg/kg of SGE or garcinia (GAR) by weight (SGED or GARD, respectively, n = 10) for 12 weeks. Serum chemistry was examined, and the expressions of genes involved in lipid metabolism were determined in the liver. Histological analysis was performed to identify lipid accumulations in epididymal fat pads and liver.
Results: The SGE had higher contents of polyphenols and flavonoids and higher DPPH and ABTS+ free radical scavenging activities compared to those of SGW. Treatment with SGE or GAR significantly decreased the HFD-induced weight gain. Both SGE and GAR significantly reduced the high serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG) and low-density lipoprotein levels induced by HFD. Compared to ND, HFD significantly increased hepatic TC and TG levels. SGE or GAR supplementation significantly decreased the increase of hepatic lipids by HFD. Interestingly, SGE had a more significant effect in reducing hepatic TC and TG levels than GAR. Furthermore, hepatic genes involved in lipogenesis and lipolysis were altered in both the SGED and GARD groups.
Conclusions: The present study indicates that steamed ginger supplementation can decrease plasma TC and TG and can inhibit liver steatosis by regulating the expressions of hepatic genes.
Keywords: Steamed ginger extract; antioxidant; diet-induced obesity.