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The study of biological effects of different geographical origin goji berries in rats with alimentary hypercholesterolemia


Food and medicinal plants as well as its’ fruits, used in traditional medicine, are now widely used as sources of bioactive phytochemical compounds to impart functional properties to products. Due to the significant variation in phytonutrient content depending on geoclimatic conditions, a comparative study of goji berries collected in different regions seems to be relevant.

The aim - comparative study of L. barbarum and L. chinense berries and its biological effects when inclusion in the diet of rats with experimental hyperlipidemia.

Material and methods. In the berries of L. barbarum (China) and L. chinense (Kazakhstan), the composition of monosaccharides, the content of vitamins (D, E, C), minerals (Mg, Ca, Se), phenolic compounds and steroid substances as well as catalase and superoxide dismutase activity and total antioxidant activity was determined. Biological experiment lasted 186 days, it was carried out on Wistar rats, divided into intact (n=10) and experimental animals (n=48), in which alimentary hyperlipidemia was reproduced for 100 days (diet containing animal fats 5.0-19.0% and cholesterol 0.5-2.0%), further animals were divided in control rats with hyperlipidemia, consuming a standard diet (group 1) and experimental rats, which were supplemented for 86 days with L. barbarum (group 2) and L. chinense (group 3) in an amount of 20% of the diet carbohydrate component. On the 128th and 186th days of the experiment, rats’ blood serum was analyzed for total protein, albumin, creatinine and urea, triacylglycerides, total cholesterol, high and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, malondialdehyde and the total antioxidant activity of blood serum was measured.

Results and discussion. L. chinense berries, which are characterized by a high content of phenolic compounds (20% higher than in L. barbarum berries), when administered to rats with alimentary hyperlipidemia on the 28th day, reduced the concentration of total cholesterol by 44.1% and low-density lipoproteins by 35.8% relative to control animals, on day 86 contributed to an increase in the concentration of high density lipoproteins to 79.6%. The effect of L. barbarum berries, characterized by an increase in high density lipoproteins in rat blood (by 62.3%), may be due to a higher content of vitamins C, E and selenium (35, 11 and 22% more than in L. chinense), the presence of phytosterols and phytostanols, in particular dodecanoic acid.

Conclusion. The data obtained indicate a pronounced antioxidant effect of L. barbarum and L. chinense berries and the possibility of their use in the diet to correct lipid metabolism disorders.

Keywords:Goji berries, Lycium barbarum, Lycium chinense, antioxidants, alimentary hyperlipidemia, rats, lipid profile

Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 16-16-10073).

Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

For citation: Chernukha I.M., Kotenkova E.A., Vasilevskaya E.R., Ivankin A N., Lisitsyn A.B., Fedulova L.V. The study of biological effects of different geographical origin goji berries in rats with alimentary hypercholesterolemia. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2020; 89 (1): 37-45. doi: 10.24411/0042-8833-2020-10004 (in Russian)


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