Rosmarinic acid is found in medicinal and spice plants such as rosemary, lemon balm, and mint. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of rosmarinic acid on parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism and parameters of oxidative stress in rats in the early phase of estrogen deficiency. The study was carried out on mature female Wistar rats divided into the following groups: sham-operated control rats, ovariectomized control rats, and ovariectomized rats treated orally with rosmarinic acid at a dose of 10 mg/kg or 50 mg/kg daily for 28 days. The concentration of sex hormones, parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolism as well as parameters of antioxidant abilities and oxidative damage were determined in the blood serum. In the ovariectomized control rats, the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index and cholesterol concentration increased, the superoxide dismutase activity increased, and the reduced glutathione concentration decreased. Administration of rosmarinic acid at both doses induced decreases in the fructosamine concentration and HOMA-IR, an increase in the concentration of reduced glutathione, and a decrease in the concentration of advanced oxidation protein products in ovariectomized rats. Moreover, rosmarinic acid at a dose of 50 mg/kg induced a decrease in the total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. The results indicate that rosmarinic acid may be useful in the prevention of metabolic disorders associated with estrogen deficiency, however further studies are necessary.
Keywords: estrogen-deficient rats; metabolic disorders; oxidative stress; rosmarinic acid.