Aspalathin-Rich Green Rooibos Extract Lowers LDL-Cholesterol and Oxidative Status in High-Fat Diet-Induced Diabetic Vervet Monkeys.
Molecules. 2019 May 2 ;24(9). Epub 2019 May 2. PMID: 31052590
Type 2 diabetic patients possess a two to four fold-increased risk for Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD). Hyperglycemia, oxidative stress associated with endothelial dysfunction and dyslipidemia are regarded as pro-atherogenic mechanisms of CVD. In this study, high-fat diet-induced diabetic and non-diabetic vervet monkeys were treated with 90 mg/kg of aspalathin-rich green rooibos extract (Afriplex GRT) for 28 days, followed by a 1-month wash-out period. Supplementation showed improvements in both the intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) glycemic area under curve (AUC) and total cholesterol (due to a decrease of the low-density lipoprotein [LDL]) values in diabetics, while non-diabetic monkeys benefited from an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. No variation of plasma coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) were found, suggesting that the LDL-lowering effect of Afriplex GRT could be related to its ability to modulate the mevalonate pathway differently from statins. Concerning the plasma oxidative status, a decrease in percentage of oxidized CoQand circulating oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) levels after supplementation was observed in diabetics. Finally, the direct correlation between the amount of oxidized LDL and total LDL concentration, and the inverse correlation between ox-LDL and plasma CoQlevels, detected in the diabetic monkeys highlighted the potential cardiovascular protective role of green rooibos extract. Taken together, these findings suggest that Afriplex GRT could counteract hyperglycemia, oxidative stress and dyslipidemia, thereby lowering fundamental cardiovascular risk factors associated with diabetes.