Hypovitaminosis D is associated with many features of the metabolic syndrome, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Vitamin D-enriched mushrooms extracts exert a synergistic anti-inflammatory effect. The aim of the present study is to determine the immunomodulatory effect of oral administration of vitamin D-enriched mushrooms extracts on high-fat diet (HFD) animal model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
C57BL/6 mice on HFD were orally administered with vitamin D supplement, Lentinula edodes (LE) mushrooms extract, or vitamin D-enriched mushrooms extract for 25 weeks. Mice were studied for the effect of the treatment on the immune system, liver functions and histology, insulin resistance and lipid profile.
Treatment with vitamin D-enriched LE extract s was associated with significant attenuation of the rate of total body fat accumulation, along with a decrease in hepatic fat content as measured by an EchoMRI. Significant alleviation of liver damage manifested by a marked decrease in ALT, and AST serum levels (from 900 and 1021 U/L in the control group to 313 and 340; 294 and 292; and 366 and 321 U/L for ALT and AST, in Vit D, LE and LE + Vit D treated groups, respectively). A corresponding effect on hepatocyte ballooning were also noted. A significant decrease in serum triglycerides (from 103 to 75, 69 and 72 mg/dL), total cholesterol (from 267 to 160, 157 and 184 mg/dL), and LDL cholesterol (from 193 mg/dL to 133, 115 and 124 mg/dL) along with an increase in the HDL/LDL ratio, and improved glucose levels were documented. These beneficial effects were associated with a systemic immunomodulatory effect associated with an increased CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratio (from 1.38 in the control group to 1.69, 1.71 and 1.63), and a pro- to an anti-inflammatory cytokine shift.