Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) pulp phenolic extract provides protection against alcoholic liver injury in mice by alleviating intestinal microbiota dysbiosis, intestinal barrier dysfunction and liver inflammation.
J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Oct 18. Epub 2017 Oct 18. PMID: 29041775
Liver injury is the most common consequence of alcohol abuse, which is promoted by the inflammatory response triggered by gut-derived endotoxins produced as a consequence of intestinal microbiota dysbiosis and barrier dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate whether modulation of intestinal microbiota and barrier function, and liver inflammation contributes to the hepatoprotective effect of lychee pulp phenolic extract (LPPE) in alcohol-fed mice. Mice were treated with an ethanol-containing liquid diet alone or in combination with LPPE for 8 weeks. LPPE supplementation alleviated ethanol-induced liver injury and downregulated key markers of inflammation. Moreover, LPPE supplementation reversed the ethanol-induced alteration of intestinal microbiota composition and increased the expression of intestinal tight junction proteins, mucus protecting proteins and antimicrobial proteins. Furthermore, in addition to decreasing serum endotoxin level, LPPE supplementation suppressed CD14 and toll-like receptor 4 expression, and repressed the activation of nuclear factor-κB p65 in the liver. These data suggest that intestinal microbiota dysbiosis, intestinal barrier dysfunction and liver inflammation are improved by LPPE, and therefore the intake of LPPE or Litchi pulp may be an effective strategy to alleviate the susceptibility to alcohol-induced hepatic diseases.