Dietary flavonoids may protect against cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Increased circulating lipid levels and hepatic lipid accumulation are known risk factors for CVD. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects and underlying molecular mechanisms of the flavonoid quercetin on hepatic lipid metabolism in mice with high-fat diet induced body weight gain and hepatic lipid accumulation. Adult male mice received a 40 energy% high-fat diet without or with supplementation of 0.33 % (w/w) quercetin for 12 weeks. Body weight gain was 29 % lower in quercetin fed mice (p < 0.01), while the energy intake was not significantly different. Quercetin supplementation lowered hepatic lipid accumulation to 29 % of the amount present in the control mice (p < 0.01). 1H nuclear magnetic resonance serum lipid profiling revealed that the supplementation significantly lowered serum lipid levels. Global gene expression profiling of liver showed that cytochrome P450 2b (Cyp2b) genes, key target genes of the transcription factor constitutive androstane receptor (Car; official symbol Nr1i3), were downregulated. Quercetin decreased high-fat diet induced body weight gain, hepatic lipid accumulation and serum lipid levels. This was accompanied by regulation of cytochrome P450 2b genes in liver, which are possibly under transcriptional control of CAR. The quercetin effects are likely dependent on the fat content of the diet.
- human nutrition and health