Effects of Tomato and Soy Germ on Lipid Bioaccumulation and Atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- Mice

Brendon W. Smith, Rita J. Miller, Kenneth R. Wilund, William D. O'Brien, John W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dietary patterns with cardiovascular benefits have been recommended, but the relative contributions of individual foods and food components, alone or in combination, remain undefined. Male ApoE-/- mice were fed either a purified AIN-93G control diet, a Western diet (WD), or a WD with 10% tomato powder (TP), 2% soy germ (SG), or the combination, for 4 wk (n = 10 per group). Plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides were measured with enzymatic colorimetric kits, and serum amyloid A (SAA) was measured by ELISA. Liver lipids were extracted with chloroform:methanol, and triglycerides, free and esterified cholesterol measured with enzymatic colorimetric kits. Expression of Cyp27a1, Cyp7a1, Abcg5, and Abcg8 in the liver was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Sections of the aortic root and aorta were cut and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) to assess extent of atherosclerotic lesions. WD-fed animals had greater liver and adipose weights, plasma cholesterol and SAA, hepatic lipids, and atherosclerosis than AIN-93G animals. TP and SG did not decrease atherosclerosis as measured by H&E-stained sections of the aortic root, aortic arch, and descending aorta. The TP diets further increased plasma cholesterol, but also led to increased expression of the Abcg5/8 transporters involved in cholesterol efflux. Addition of SG alone to the WD attenuated WD-induced increases in plasma cholesterol, liver lipids, and gonadal adipose weight. The results of this study do not support the use of either TP or SG for reduction of atherosclerosis, but suggest some beneficial effects of SG on lipid metabolism in this model of cardiovascular disease. Practical Application: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 800000 lives per year. Diet has been acknowledged as an important determinant of CVD risk, but effective combinations of specific nutritional components remain to be identified. This study evaluated the cardiovascular benefits of tomato and soy germ (SG). Neither intervention decreased atherosclerosis, but SG favorably affected some CVD risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1918-H1925
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diet
  • Nutrition
  • Soy
  • Tomatoes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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