Evidence suggests that diets with high contents of cholesterol will increase serum lipoproteins and apolipoproteins, thereby increase risk of atherosclerosis. According to literature, some plants show hypolipidemic, hypocholestrolemic, and antiatherosclerotic activities.
In this study, antiatherosclerotic effect of Hypericum perforatum hydroalcoholic extract on hypercholesterolemic rabbits was compared with that of lovastatin.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty five mature male New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into five groups of five and were fed for 60 days as follows: Standard diet (GroupI), standard diet and hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum (150 mg/kg daily)(GroupII), standard diet, hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum (150 mg/ kg daily) and cholesterol (1% of food content) (Group III), standard diet and cholesterol (1% of food content)(GroupIV), and finally standard diet, lovastatin (10 mg/kg), and cholesterol (1% of foodcontent) (GroupV).
Hypericum perforatum extract significantly decreased the levels of apolipoprotein B(apoB), apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A (apoB/apoA), triglyceride, cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, oxidized LDL, malondialdehyde, and C-reactive protein (CRP) as well as atherosclerosis index, and increased high density lipoprotein and apoA in rabbits of Group III compared to the rabbits of Group IV. The effect of Hypericum perforatum extract in decreasing the level of some biochemical factors like apoB, apoB/apoA, and CRP was meaningfully more than that of lovastatin. Histopathological findings confirmed that hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum restricted the atherosclerotic lesions.
This study indicates that hydroalcoholic extract of Hypericum perforatum possesses hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic effects and could be beneficial in the management of hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.