The effect of essential oils of dietary wormwood (Artemisia princeps), with and without added vitamin E, on oxidative stress and some genes involved in cholesterol metabolism

Mi J. Chung, Ah Young Kang, Sung O. Park, Kuen W. Park, Hee J. Jun, Sung-Joon Lee

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Wormwood (Artemisia princeps) due to the abundance of antioxidant in its essential oils (EO), has been used as a traditional drug and health food in Korea. Oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of atherosclerosis thus antioxidative chemicals improves hepatic lipid metabolism partly by reducing oxysterol formation. The antioxidant activity was assessed using two methods, human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and the anti-DPPH free radical assays. It was found that the antioxidant activity of EO with vitamin E higher than EO alone. To study mechanisms accounting for the antiatherosclerotic properties of this wormwood EO, we examined the expression of key genes in cholesterol metabolism such as the LDL receptor, the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and sterol regulatory element binding proteins. The induction was increased up to twofold at 0.05 mg/mL of EO treatment in HepG2 cells for 24 h. When EO (0.2 mg/mL) was co-incubated with vitamin E, interestingly, the LDL receptor was dramatically induced by 5-6-folds. HMG-CoA reductase did not change. However, treatment with the higher concentration resulted in cytotoxicity. Our data suggest that wormwood EO with vitamin E may be anti-atherogenic due to their inhibition of LDL oxidation and upregulation of the LDL receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1400-1409
Number of pages10
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 1



  • Antioxidant
  • Cholesterol
  • Oxidative stress
  • Toxicity
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology

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