We have demonstrated that red algae Gelidium amansii (GA) hot-water extract (GHE) is a polysaccharide-rich fraction, containing 68.54% water-soluble indigestible carbohydrate polymers; the molecular weight of major polysaccharide is 892. Here, we investigated the mechanisms of GHE on plasma and hepatic lipid metabolisms in high-fat (HF) diet-fed rats. Rats were divided into: normal diet group, HF-diet group, HF-diet+5% GHE group, and HF-diet+1% cholestyramine (positive control) group. GHE supplementation for 8 weeks significantly decreased plasma cholesterol, LDL-C, and VLDL-C levels and increased the fecal triglyceride and bile acid excretion in HF diet-fed rats. GHE group has lower lipid contents in the liver and adipose tissues. GHE supplementation decreased the activities of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, fatty acid synthase, and HMG-CoA reductase in the livers. The increased phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-α, farnesoid-X receptor (FXR), low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), and cytochrome P450-7A1 (CYP7A1) protein expressions, and the decreased PPAR-γ protein expression in the livers were observed in GHE group. These results suggest that GHE supplementation is capable of interfering in cholesterol metabolism and increasing hepatic LDLR and CYP7A1 expression to decrease blood cholesterol, and activating FXR and AMPK to inhibit lipogenic enzyme activities and reduce the hepatic lipid accumulation.

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