Published online Mar 27, 2021. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v13.i3.315
Peer-review started: October 23, 2020
First decision: November 25, 2020
Revised: December 30, 2020
Accepted: February 11, 2021
Article in press: February 11, 2021
Published online: March 27, 2021
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a global health issue that is correlated with obesity and oxidative stress.
To evaluate the anti-NAFLD effect of papaya in high fat diet induced obesity in rats.
Four-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups after 1 wk of acclimatization: Group 1 was the rats fed a normal diet (C); group 2 was the rats fed a high fat diet (HFD); group 3 was the rats fed a HFD with 0.5 mL of papaya juice/100 g body weight (HFL), and group 4 was the rats fed a HFD with 1 mL of papaya juice/100 g body weight (HFH) for 12 wk. At the end of the treatment, blood and tissue samples were collected for biochemical analyses and histological assessment.
The results of the HFH group showed significantly reduced body weight (HFH vs HFD, P < 0.01), decreased NAFLD score (HFH vs HFD, P < 0.05), and reduced hepatic total cholesterol (HFL vs HFD, P < 0.01; HFH vs HFD, P < 0.001), hepatic triglyceride (HFH vs HFD, P < 0.05), malondialdehyde (HFL, HFH vs HFD, P < 0.001), tumour necrosis factor-α (HFH vs HFD, P < 0.05) and interleukin-6 (HFH vs HFD, P < 0.05) when compared to the HFD group. However, the liver weight showed no significant difference among the groups. The activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase significantly increased in HFH when compared with the HFD group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001, respectively). The suppression of transcriptional factors of hepatic lipogenesis, including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c and fatty acid synthase, were observed in the papaya treated group (HFH vs HFD, P < 0.05). These beneficial effects of papaya against HFD-induced NAFLD are through lowering hepatic lipid accumulation, suppressing the lipogenic pathway, improving the balance of antioxidant status, and lowering systemic inflammation.
These current results provide experimental-based evidence suggesting papaya is an efficacious medicinal fruit for use in the prevention or treatment of NAFLD.
Core Tip: High fat diet consumption causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This is one of the major liver diseases found worldwide. Liver fat accumulation leads to dysfunction of liver due to oxidative stress and inflammation. Papaya is an important export fruit from Asian and Latin America. It is a nutrient rich fruit with many medicinal properties. Our present study clearly demonstrated that the hepatoprotective mechanism of papaya against NAFLD was a result of the association of the hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities. This study provides evidence for the beneficial effects of papaya to reverse the progression of NAFLD in obese rats.