Effects of vitamin C supplementation on Chinese sausage-induced liver damage in rats

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Minxian Rong
Yungang Liu
Yiyuan Wang
Hong Deng


Chinese sausage, liver damage, metabolomics, N-nitrosodimethylamine, vitamin C


Contamination of nitrosamine compounds in Chinese sausages and the relevant hepatoxicity have been reported. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of vitamin C (VC) supplementation on Chinese sausage contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)-induced liver damage and relevant metabolomic changes. Rats were orally administered with Chinese sausage contaminated with NDMA at levels overpassing its safety limit. In some experiments, VC was additionally administered via drinking water to the rats for 25 weeks. Serum samples were collected from the rats for the measurement of the metabolomic profiles by using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Compared with the group administered with Chinese sausages alone, in rats with additional VC treatment, all serum biochemical parameters indicating hepatic damage were significantly alleviated, which suggested an improved hepatic function by VC supplementation. Metabonomic analysis of the serum samples showed notable changes in metabolites in VC-supplemented group as compared to that with sausage alone, especially for those involved in the regulation of amino acid or energy or lipid metabolism and/or anti-oxidative function. This study indicates that VC supplement in parallel with long-term exposure to Chinese sausage may attenuate liver damage and promote the recovery of liver function.

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