Lingonberry Improves Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease by Reducing Hepatic Lipid Accumulation, Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Response

Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Apr 6;10(4):565. doi: 10.3390/antiox10040565.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease globally and there is a pressing need for effective treatment. Lipotoxicity and oxidative stress are the important mediators in NAFLD pathogenesis. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) is rich in anthocyanins that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The present study investigated the effect of lingonberry supplementation on liver injury in C57BL/6J male mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. Mice fed HFD displayed liver injury with steatosis, increased lipid peroxidation and inflammatory cytokine expression in the liver as compared to mice fed a control diet. Lingonberry supplementation for 12 weeks alleviated HFD-induced liver injury, attenuated hepatic lipid accumulation, and inflammatory cytokine expression. Lingonberry supplementation inhibited the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (AAC-1) as well as activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the liver. It also decreased HFD-induced hepatic oxidative stress and aggregation of inflammatory foci. This was associated with a restoration of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and glutathione level in the liver. These results suggest that lingonberry supplementation can protect against HFD-induced liver injury partly through attenuation of hepatic lipid accumulation, oxidative stress, and inflammatory response.

Keywords: Nrf2; fatty liver; glutathione; high-fat diet; inflammation; lingonberry; lipids; oxidative stress.