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Expanded flaxseed meal, SD rats, hypoglycemic activity, hypolipidemic activity, oxidative stress, hepatic histological morphology
With the increase in populations with suboptimal health and chronic diseases, consumer demands for health foods, especially food products with health functions. The flaxseed was a complex mixture mainly consisting of flaxseed oil, flaxseed protein, dietary fibre (including cellulose and flaxseed gum), carbohydrates and secoisolari-ciresinol diglucoside (SDG). To investigate the effects of expanded flaxseed meal (EFM) intervention on the hypo-glycaemic and lipid-lowering functions of rats on a high-fat, high-sugar (HFHS) diet, EFM was fed to six groups (z = 8) of Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats: normal control, HFHS model, positive treatment control, and low-, medium-, and high-dose EFM (5%, 10% and 20% mass fraction EFM, respectively) groups. The results (8 weeks later) were as follows: (1) medium- and high-dose EFM achieved similar inhibitive effects on blood glucose levels compared with positive treatment (5.94±0.32 mmol/L); (2) all EFM doses significantly reduced total cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the blood plasma of SD rats and (3) EFM significantly increased glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, increased glutathione levels, and reduced the malondialdehyde content in the plasma of SD rats (P < 0.05). Therefore, EFM mitigated the adverse effects produced by HFHS diet on physiological functions, effectively regulated blood glucose and lipid metabolism, enhanced plasma antioxidant capacity and alleviated oxidative stress in SD rats with a certain dose–effect relationship among the EFM dose groups. Hepatic histological morphologies indicated that EFM also improved the size and density of lipid droplets in the liver of the rats and inhibited the onset of fatty liver. These results suggest that EFM is a potentially useful raw material in the development of blood glucose and lipid-lowering food products.
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