Rhizoma A. officinarum (Hance) Farw, synonymously is called rhizoma galangae or smaller galangal (hereafter abbreviated as AO). Numerous studies reported that AO possesses anti-inflammatory, anticancer, chemoprotective, antibacterial, antifungal and diuretic properties. To understand whether AO exhibits antihyperlipidemic bioactivity and what is the mechanism of action, we performed chemical and animal studies using hamsters (age: 4 weeks, body weight: 45 ± 4 g). The grouping of the animals was as follows: control, high fat (HF) diet, HF + AO2%, HF + AO4%, HF + AO6%, HF + AO8% and HF + AO10%. AO contained curcumin 5.67 mg g-1 (on wet basis), crude fiber 1.3% ± 0.0%, soluble diet fiber 92 ± 2 mg g-1, insoluble diet fiber 502 ± 5 mg g-1, and phytosterols 63.9 ± 1.6 mg/100 g. Its methanolic extract consisted of high polyphenolics 4927.8 ± 101.1 mgGAE/100 g and flavonoids 593.2 ± 22.2 mgQE/100 g. The enlarged organs, including liver, kidney, and spleen, which were elicited by HF were completely alleviated by AO supplement diets. Levels of serum cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL-C, HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio for the control originally were 138 ± 6, 98 ± 4, 40 ± 5, 168 ± 7 mg dL-1 and 0.24, which were elevated by HF to 319 ± 12, 223 ± 13, 108 ± 11, 194 ± 6 mg dL-1 and 0.05, and alleviated completely by HF + AO8% and HF + AO10%. In vitro, AO extracts showed potent DPPH free radical-scavenging and superoxide anion scavenging capabilities. In vivo, AO (at dose ≥8%) dose-dependently alleviated levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase, GSH, and MDA to 117 ± 6.9 U mL-1, 32.9 ± 3.7 U mL-1, 7.0 ± 1.7 μmol mL-1 and 1.8 ± 0.4 nmol L-1, respectively, exhibiting the remarkable antioxidative and antihyperlipidemic effects of AO. Conclusively, we are the first to report the occurrence of curcumin in rhizoma A. officinarum. Curcumin synergistically elicits promising anti-dyslipidemic bioactivity with coexisting total polyphenolics, dietary fibers and phytosterols.
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