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Eriobotrya japonica (Japanese plum) found to protect against free fatty acid-induced liver injury


In this study, researchers from South Korea investigated the hepatoprotective properties of Eriobotrya japonica, also known as loquat or Japanese plum, against free fatty acid-induced liver injury. Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • The researchers exposed HepG2/2E1 cells to ethanol and free fatty acids to stimulate oxidative stress and induce lipid accumulation.
  • Prior to exposure, some cells were treated with E. japonica hot water extract.
  • The findings revealed that cells treated with E. japonica hot water extract exhibited significant antioxidant activity.
  • In addition, the treated cells did not accumulate lipids.
  • The cells also showed increased 5’adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation, indicating activation of AMPK.
  • E. japonica hot water extract reduced the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of lipogenesis-associated factors. These include ACC, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and fatty acid synthase (FAS).
  • The cells treated with E. japonica hot water extract also showed increased mRNA expression of components of the fatty acid b-oxidation pathway, such as AMPK, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT-1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARa).

In sum, E. japonica hot water extract has hepatoprotective activities against ethanol- and free fatty acid-induced liver injury.

Journal Reference:

Mun J, Park J, Yoon H-G, You Y, Choi K-C, Lee Y-H, Kim K, Lee J, Kim O-K, Jun W. EFFECTS OF ERIOBOTRYA JAPONICA WATER EXTRACT ON ALCOHOLIC AND NONALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER IMPAIRMENT. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2019;22(12):1262–1270. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2019.4493

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