Ascorbic acid inhibits visceral obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Ascorbic acid inhibits visceral obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorα in high-fat-diet-fed C57BL/6J mice.
Int J Obes (Lond). 2018 Oct 3. Epub 2018 Oct 3. PMID: 30283077
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Ascorbic acid is a known cofactor in the biosynthesis of carnitine, a molecule that has an obligatory role in fatty acid oxidation. Our previous studies have demonstrated that obesity is regulated effectively through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorα (PPARα)-mediated fatty acid β-oxidation. Thus, this study aimed to determine whether ascorbic acid can inhibit obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in part through the actions of PPARα.
DESIGN: After C57BL/6J mice received a low-fat diet (LFD, 10% kcal fat), a high-fat diet (HFD, 45% kcal fat), or the same HFD supplemented with ascorbic acid (1% w/w) (HFD-AA) for 15 weeks, variables and determinants of visceral obesity and NAFLD were examined using metabolic measurements, histology, and gene expression.
RESULTS: Compared to HFD-fed obese mice, administration of HFD-AA to obese mice reduced body weight gain, visceral adipose tissue mass, and visceral adipocyte size without affecting food consumption profiles. Concomitantly, circulating ascorbic acid concentrations were significantly higher in HFD-AA mice than in HFD mice. Ascorbic acid supplementation increased the mRNA levels of PPARα and its target enzymes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation in visceral adipose tissues. Consistent with the effects of ascorbic acid on visceral obesity, ascorbic acid not only inhibited hepatic steatosis but also increased the mRNA levels of PPARα-dependent fatty acid β-oxidation genes in livers. Similarly, hepatic inflammation, fibrosis, and apoptosis were also decreased during ascorbic acid-induced inhibition of visceral obesity. In addition, serum levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were lower in HFD-AA-fed mice than in those of HFD-fed mice.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that ascorbic acid seems to suppress HFD-induced visceral obesity and NAFLD in part through the activation of PPARα.