1 Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil. 2 Unversidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil. 3 Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil.
Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) is a native palm plant in northern South America that has recently emerged as a promising source of natural antioxidants, mainly polyphenols. The pulp from the acai fruit has received much attention in recent years as one of the new “super fruits” due to its high antioxidant capacity and potential antiinflammatory activities, which have been considered promising for the prevention of the insulin resistance and liver steatosis associated with obesity. This study investigated the effects of acai treatment on insulin sensitivity, adipokines production and lipid metabolism in the adipose tissue in mice fed high-fat diet. In HFD mice, Acai aqueous extract (AAE) administration (3g/kg) for six weeks improved insulin resistance index. It also decreased TNF-α serum levels and its epididymal white adipose tissue (WAT) expression when compared to high-fat diet. Acai also regulated the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism. AAE increased PGC1-α mRNA expression in mice fed control diet when compared to control and PPAR-γ expression in mice fed high-fat diet when compared to HF. Moreover, high-fat diet increased CPT-1 and UCP-2 gene expression, and acai HFA group showed an intermediate level of gene expression that was not statistically different of HF group. Taken together, these results demonstrate that acai could have an important role on insulin sensitivity improvement, and lipid metabolism, which ultimately could attenuate the progression of chronic diseases, such as Diabetes, NAFLD and metabolic syndromes associated.