Scope: Natural dietary anti-obesogenic phytochemicals may help combat the rising global incidence of obesity. We aimed to identify key hepatic pathways targeted by anti-obsogenic ginger phytochemicals fed to mice.
Methods and results: Weaning mice were fed a high-fat diet containing 6-gingerol (HFG), zerumbone (HFZ), a characterized rhizome extract of the ginger-related plant Alpinia officinarum Hance (high fat goryankang, HFGK) or no phytochemicals (high-fat control, HFC) for 6 wks and were compared with mice on a low-fat control diet (LFC). Increased adiposity in the HFC group, compared with the LFC group, was significantly (p<0.05) reduced in the HFG and HFGK groups without food intake being affected. Correlation network analysis, including a novel residuals analysis, was utilized to investigate relationships between liver proteomic data, lipid and cholesterol biomarkers and physiological indicators of adiposity. 6-Gingerol significantly increased plasma cholesterol but hepatic farnesyl diphosphate synthetase, which is involved in cholesterol biosynthesis was decreased, possibly by negative feedback. Acetyl-coenzyme A acyltransferase 1 and enoyl CoA hydratase, which participate in the β-oxidation of fatty acids were significantly (p<0.05) increased by consumption of phytochemical-supplemented diets.
Conclusion: Dietary ginger phytochemicals target cholesterol metabolism and fatty acid oxidation in mice, with anti-obesogenic but also hypercholesterolemic consequences.