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Saskatoon berry Amelanchier alnifolia regulates glucose metabolism and improves cardiovascular and liver signs of diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats
journal contributionposted on 29.05.2020, 00:00 by Ryan du Preez, S Wanyonyi, P Mouatt, SK Panchal, L Brown
Saskatoon berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is a potential functional food containing anthocyanins and flavonols, as well as ellagitannins and phenolic acids. We have determined the potential therapeutic effects of Saskatoon berry in diet-induced metabolic syndrome. Nine- to ten-week-old male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups. Two groups were fed on control diets, either corn starch (C) or high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (H) respectively, for 16 weeks. Two further groups were fed on C or H diet for 16 weeks with Saskatoon berry powder added to the diet for the final 8 weeks (CSSK, HSSK). After 16 weeks, H rats showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including increased body weight, visceral adiposity, systolic blood pressure, cardiac fibrosis, plasma concentrations of triglycerides and non-esterified fatty acids, and plasma activities of alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase. Saskatoon berry intervention normalised body weight and adiposity, improved glucose tolerance, decreased systolic blood pressure, improved heart and liver structure and function with decreased infiltration of inflammatory cells, and decreased plasma total cholesterol. Further, Saskatoon berry normalised liver expression of hexokinase 1 and glycogen phosphorylase and increased glucose 6-phosphatase relative to H rats. These results suggest that Saskatoon berry regulates glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and glycogenesis to improve metabolic syndrome.