Obesity-related functional iron disorder remains a major nutritional challenge. We evaluated the effects of djulis hull (DH) on iron metabolism in 50% high-fat-diet-induced obese rats supplemented with ferric citrate (2 g iron/kg diet) for 12 weeks. DH supplementation (5, 10, 15% dry weight/kg diet) significantly increased serum and hepatic iron but decreased appetite hormones, body weight, hepcidin, and liver inflammation (all p < 0.05). The Spearman correlation showed that appetite hormones were negatively associated with iron but positively correlated with liver hepcidin (all p < 0.05). A Western blot analysis showed that DH significantly downregulated hepatic hepcidin through the IL-6-JAK-STAT3 and enhanced ferroportin (Fpn) via the Keap1-Nrf2 and PHD2-HIF-2α. An in vitro study revealed that major bioactive compounds of DH, hexacosanol, and squalene suppressed LPS-induced IL-6 and hepcidin but enhanced Fpn expression in activated THP-1 cells. In conclusion, DH may exert nutraceutical properties for the treatment of functional iron disorder and restoration of iron efflux may have beneficial effects on weight control.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 25 2023


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