Lemon flavonoids’ antioxidant effects balance cholesterol levels, novel research highlights

Published: 31-May-2024

Eriomin exhibited antioxidant effects in the liver and small intestine, whilst also demonstrating the ability to lower cholesterol precursor levels

Ingredients by Nature, a nutraceutical ingredients company, has published the results of its experimental research into its proprietary citrus flavonoid Eriomin, demonstrating its impact on cholesterol metabolism in the context of healthy ageing. 

Cholesterol is critical to a significant number of bodily functions — from vitamin D synthesis to steroid hormones, cell wall stability, bile acid production and more. On the other hand, excess cholesterol in the blood can lead to the formation of atheromatous plaques in the arteries, which can be harmful. 

Thus, it’s vital to strike a balance between endogenous synthesis plus dietary intake, along with the body's clearance of cholesterol, to ensure balanced biochemical and physiological functions as we age. 

The study

The four-week, placebo-controlled study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences saw aged male lab rates treated with Eriomin (40 mg/kg body weight) suspended in sunflower oil, while the control group received sunflower oil. 

After the four-week period, the antioxidant activity, cholesterol biosynthesis & degradation and the absorption markers of Eriomin were measured in the blood serum, liver, jejunum and ileum in both groups. 

Reducing oxidative stress to mediate cholesterol levels

The results of the study found that Eriomin significantly reduced total oxidant status (TOS) and the oxidative stress index (OSI) (p < 0.05) compared with the controls, indicating consistent antioxidant action across the liver and small intestine. 

Additionally, Eriomin significantly lowered the biosynthetic hepatic precursor of cholesterol, desmosterol (p < 0.05), while and reducing the levels of 7α-hydroxycholesterol and 24-hydroxycholesterol in the liver and ileum (p < 0.01).


Oxysterols for maintaining cholesterol balance

“These products -- oxygenated derivatives of cholesterol 7α-hydroxycholesterol and 24-hydroxycholesterol -- also known as oxysterols, are crucial for maintaining cholesterol balance and ensuring proper digestive and metabolic functions,” said Dr Thais Cesar, lead researcher and scientific advisor to Ingredients by Nature. “7α-hydroxycholesterol regulates bile acid synthesis and cholesterol homeostasis in the liver, as well as bile acid reabsorption in the ileum. Meanwhile, 24-hydroxycholesterol facilitates cholesterol transport from the brain to the liver for detoxification and clearance, contributing to overall cholesterol homeostasis.”

“This study showed that Eriomin exerted potent antioxidant effects to help maintain serum cholesterol levels,” said Rob Brewster, President at Ingredients by Nature. “Flavonoids are well-known for antioxidant properties and our proprietary blend, Eriomin, continues to demonstrate its potent antioxidant effects through our clinical research.”

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