Astragalus mongholicus is a Chinese traditional medicine. In this study, we sought to explore potential benefits in cardiovascular disorders associated with excess cholesterol and hyperlipidemia. We have investigated the effects of A. mongholicus extract as a dietary supplement on hyperlipidemia and oxidative stress in rats maintained on a high- cholesterol diet. Diets were supplemented with A. mongholicus extract at 0.4 and 0.8% for five weeks, while control animals received no supplement. A. mongholicus extract administration to hyperlipidemic rats resulted in a significant decline in serum levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, with an increase in serum high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. Furthermore, A. mongholicus extract improved serum and heart antioxidant status as assessed by superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and reduced levels of lipid peroxidation. These results suggest that A. mongholicus extract consumption can improve lipid profiles, inhibit peroxidation, and increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes, and is thereby likely to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease associated with hyperlipidemia and oxidative stress.
Key words: Astragalus mongholicus extract, coronary heart disease, high- cholesterol diet.
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