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Objective: Coronary artery diseases including atherosclerosis is considered as commonest problem worldwide. Ergosterols are the main components of vegetable oils and nuts. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential hypoplipidemic and hypocholesterolemic effects of ergosterol in combination with niacin in rats fed high fat diet (HFD).
Methods: Eighty male albino rats were included in this study divided into two main groups: Group I: Normal rats fed standard diet treated with either niacin (8.5 mg /kg b.w) or ergosterol (100 mg/Kg b.w) or both. Group II; rats fed HFD treated with either niacin (8.5 mg /kg b.w) or ergosterol (100 mg/Kg b.w) or both The feeding and treatment lasted for 8 weeks.
Results: A significant elevation in the levels of total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, VLDL-c, LDL-c and atherogenic factor (p<0.001) in rats fed on HFD compared with normal control while HDL-c was significantly reduced in HFD rats compared with control group. Supplementation of diet with niacin or ergosterol or combined exerts improvement in the studied parameters by lowering triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, LDL-c and atherogenic factor and elevate HDL-c near to the value of control. Niacin combined with ergosterol were effective in the reduction of hydroxy methyl glutaryl-CoA reducatase (HMGCoA) compared with control (p<0.001). The combined effect was more potent than individual alone.
Conclusion: Utilization of niacin and ergosterol may prevent the hypercholesterolemia and incidence of coronary heart diseases. These functional foods act as nutriceutical as dyslipidemics.
Keywords: Nicotinic acid, cholesterol, ergosterol