The date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) has been known for many health benefits, but its antihyperlipidaemic activity still remains unclear.
To investigate effects of Birhi date palm fruit,“Khalal” and“Tamr”, on serum lipids, body weight and food intake in cholesterol-fed rats.
Sixty male Sprague–Dawley rats were assigned into 5 cholesterol-free (control) or 5 cholesterol-supplemented (experimental) diets containing 0%, 5% and 10% of either Khalal or Tamr and given ad libitum to the rats for 6 weeks. Serum total cholesterol (TC), low- and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C and VLDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides (TG) were then quantified and other biological parameters were assessed.
Compared to control, cholesterol induced significant (p < 0.05) increase in serum LDL-C, TC/TG ratio and atherogenic index and decrease in TG and HDL-C/LDL-C ratio, whereas other lipid fractions, food intake and weight gain were unchanged. In all rats, none of the studied variables were appreciably affected by dates feeding, except for increased (p < 0.05) and linearly responded (r2 = 0.348, p < 0.01) atherogenic index induced by Khalal. Lipid variables and their calculated ratios that were increased or decreased by cholesterol remained unaffected by dates feeding.
In normal or cholesterol-fed rats, Birhi Khalal or Tamr exert little or no effect on serum lipids and are ineffective to counteract the atherogenic effect of cholesterol.