Postmenopausal women are at increased risk of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, the chemoprevention of postmenopausal changes in health via dietary supplements is important. Syringic acid (SA) is a phenolic compound present in the fruit of the assai palm, Euterpe oleracea, and in the mycelium of the shiitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes. This compound shows no affinity for estrogen receptors and may exert disease-preventive effects. Reportedly, dietary SA ameliorates high-fat diet-induced obesity in mice; however, its effects on estrogen deficiency-induced obesity are still unclear. Therefore, in this study, we investigated whether and how dietary SA affects these factors in ovariectomized (OVX) mice.
Ten-week-old OVX mice were fed SA-containing diets (100 mg/kg body weight/d) for 12 weeks. Their body weights, food intake, and uterus weights as well as other parameters were measured and comparisons were made with mice in the control group.
Dietary SA did not affect the body weight, food intake, or uterus weight of OVX mice over the study period; however, the SA-fed group showed lower fat mass (ie, visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat) than the OVX-control group (11.1 ± 3.3 vs. 8.3 ± 2.4, P < 0.05; 7.9 ± 1.1 vs. 5.9 ± 1.6, P < 0.05; 19.0 ± 4.2 vs. 14.1 ± 3.8, P < 0.05, respectively). Furthermore, blood analysis revealed that SA-treatment resulted in a dose-dependent decrease and increase in serum triglyceride (59.2 ± 8.3 vs. 43.9 ± 12.2 mg/dL P < 0.05) and adiponectin (7.7 ± 0.3 vs. 9.5 ± 0.6 μg/mL, P < 0.05) levels, respectively.
These results suggest that the SA diet improves lipid metabolism without affecting the uterus in OVX mice. Therefore, dietary SA has potential applicability for the prevention of postmenopausal obesity and type 2 diabetes.