Aqueous extract of Ilex paraguariensis attenuates the progression of atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits

Authors

  • Ana Luiza Pamplona Mosimann,

    1. Department of Clinical Analysis, Health Sciences Center, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
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  • Danilo Wilhelm-Filho,

    1. Department of Ecology and Zoology, Biological Sciences Center, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
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  • Edson Luiz Da Silva

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Analysis, Health Sciences Center, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
    • Edson Luiz da Silva, Departamento de Análises Clýnicas, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Universitário, Trindade, Florianópolis, 88040–970 Santa Catarina, Brazil. Tel:+55 48 331 8053; Fax: +55 48 331 9542
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Abstract

Ilex paraguariensis aqueous extract (mate) is an antioxidant-rich beverage widely consumed in South American countries. Here we questioned whether mate could reduce the progression of atherosclerosis in 1% cholesterol-fed rabbits. New Zealand White male rabbits (n = 32) were divided into four groups: control (C, n = 5), control-mate (CM, n = 5), hypercholesterolemic (HC, n = 11) and hypercholesterolemic-mate (HCM, n = 11). The daily water and mate extract consumption was approximately 400 ml. After 2 months of treatment, mate intake did not change the lipid profile or hepatic cholesterol content of control or hypercholesterolemic rabbits (p< 0.05). However, the atherosclerotic lesion area was considerably smaller in the hypercholesterolemic-mate group (HCM, 35.4% vs. HC, 60.1%; p<0.05). In addition, the aortic cholesterol content was around half that of the HC group (HCM, 36.8 vs. HC, 73.9 μ/mg of protein, p<0.05). In spite of this, the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) in the atherosclerotic aorta, liver and serum, and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes in liver and aorta did not differ among groups (p>0.05). The results showed that Ilex paraguariensis extract can inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits, although it did not decrease the serum cholesterol or aortic TBARS and antioxidant enzymes.

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