How boysenberries influence cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis


A Japanese study on boysenberries discovered that the fruit can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body by increasing the latter’s excretion in the small intestine. Furthermore, the researchers believe this bioactivity is a separate effect from the antioxidants that are present in the berry.

  • Cardiovascular disease – a major cause of death in Japan – is mostly caused by atherosclerosis, which is in turn linked to the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
  • Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. An earlier study showed that boysenberries have potential antioxidants, as well as plenty of polyphenols that prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Researchers obtained locally-available boysenberry juice and ellagic acid, the main polyphenol in the berry. They cultured human hepatoma cells (HepG2) and human colon cells (Caco2) in mediums with samples of juice, ellagic acid, or neither (control group). The treatment lasted for 24 hours.
  • The real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) technique was used to analyze the presence, absence, or amount of messenger RNA (mRNA) levels. Researchers sought out the proteins ABCG5 and ABCG8 in the Caco2 cell and ABCA1 in the HepG2 cell. These three mRNA are connected to cholesterol excretion.
  • In the Caco2 cell, the levels of the proteins ABCG5 and ABCG8 in the 0.001 percent boysenberry juice sample rose by half compared to the control medium. In the HepG2 cell, the levels of ABCA1 in the 1μM ellagic acid experienced a similar level of increase.

Based on the fruit’s apparent ability to spur cholesterol excretion, the researchers surmised that boysenberries might possess the potential to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which is linked to high levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

Journal Reference:

Uchida A, Kasuga Y, Ota M, Yano T. THE EFFECTS OF BOYSENBERRIES ON CHOLESTEROL METABOLISM TO PREVENT ATHEROSCLEROSIS. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism. 2017;8:97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnim.2017.04.138.



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