Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)

The supplementation of Korean mistletoe water extracts reduces hot flushes, dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, and muscle loss in ovariectomized rats.

PMID 25258426


Since Korean mistletoe (Viscum album) has been used for alleviating metabolic diseases, it may also prevent the impairment of energy, glucose, lipid, and bone metabolisms in an estrogen-deficient animal model. We determined that long-term consumption of Korean mistletoe water extract (KME) can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flush, increased abdominal fat mass, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and decreased bone mineral density in ovariectomized (OVX) rats fed a high-fat diet, and explored the mechanisms of the effects. OVX rats were divided into four groups and fed high-fat diets supplemented with either 0.6% dextrin (control), 0.2% lyophilized KME + 0.4% dextrin (KME-L), or 0.6% lyophilized KME (KME-H). Sham rats were fed with the high-fat diets with 0.6% dextrin as a normal-control without estrogen deficiency. After eight weeks, OVX rats exhibited impaired energy, glucose and lipid metabolism, and decreased uterine and bone masses. KME-L did not alleviate energy dysfunction. However, KME-H lowered serum levels of total-, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides and elevated serum HDL-cholesterol levels in OVX rats with dyslipidemia, to similar levels as normal-control rats. Furthermore, KME-H improved HOMA-IR, an indicator of insulin resistance, in OVX rats. Surprisingly, KME-H fed rats had greater lean mass in the abdomen and leg without differences in fat mass but neither dosage of KME altered bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and femur. The increased lean mass was related to greater phosphorylation of mTOR and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) in the quadriceps muscles. Hepatic triglyceride contents were lowered with KME-H in OVX rats by increasing carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1) expression and decreasing fatty acid synthase (FAS) and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) expression. In conclusion, KME may be useful for preventing some menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, and loss of muscle mass in post-menopausal women.