Integrity of erythrocytes of hypercholesterolemic rats during spices treatment.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2002 Jul;236(1-2):155-61. PMID: 12190115
Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India.
In rats rendered hypercholesterolemic by maintaining them on a cholesterol-enriched diet (0.5%) for 8 weeks, inclusion of spice principles--curcumin (0.2%) or capsaicin (0.015%) or the spice--garlic powder (2.0%) in the diet, produced the expected hypolipidemic effect. Plasma cholesterol which was more than 200% that of basal control in hypercholesterolemic rats, was decreased by these dietary spice principles and garlic by 25-39%. Erythrocyte membranes of hypercholesterolemic rats were relatively enriched in cholesterol, which was about 120% of basal control, while membrane phospholipid was unaffected. This resulted in a significant alteration in cholesterol to phospholipid ratio of RBC membranes. Dietary curcumin, capsaicin and garlic were observed to counter this altered lipid profile of erythrocyte membranes in hypercholesterolemic situation by producing a significant 10-14% decrease in membrane cholesterol content. As a result of alteration in membrane structural lipids, the structural integrity of RBCs was also affected. An examination of the osmotic fragility of erythrocytes in various groups, indicated that RBCs of hypercholesterolemic rats were relatively fragile compared to normal controls. Dietary curcumin, capsaicin and garlic appeared to correct this increased fragility of erythrocytes.