Formulation and characterization of quercetin-loaded oil in water nanoemulsion and evaluation of hypocholesterolemic activity in rats

Hye Yeon Son, Mak Soon Lee, Eugene Chang, Seog Young Kim, Bori Kang, Hyunmi Ko, In Hwan Kim, Qixin Zhong, Young Hee Jo, Chong Tai Kim, Yangha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Due to poor water solubility and high susceptibility to chemical degradation, the applications of quercetin have been limited. This study investigated the effects of pH on the formation of quercetin-loaded nanoemulsion (NQ) and compared the hypocholesterolemic activity between quercetin and NQ to utilize the quercetin as functional food ingredient. NQ particle size exhibited a range of 207–289 nm with polydispersity index range (<0.47). The encapsulation efficiency increased stepwise from 56 to 92% as the pH increased from 4.0 to 9.0. Good stability of NQ was achieved in the pH range of 6.5–9.0 during 3-month storage at 21 and 37 °C. NQ displayed higher efficacy in reducing serum and hepatic cholesterol levels and increasing the release of bile acid into feces in rats fed high-cholesterol diet, compared to quercetin alone. NQ upregulated hepatic gene expression involved in bile acid synthesis and cholesterol efflux, such as cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), liver X receptor alpha (LXRα), ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 1 (ABCG1). These results suggest at least partial involvement of hepatic bile acid synthesis and fecal cholesterol excretion in nanoemulsion quercetin-mediated beneficial effect on lipid abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number244
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Ottogi Corporation and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (2016R1A2B4011021). This research also supported by the National Research Council of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Hypocholesterolemic activity
  • Nanoemulsion
  • Quercetin
  • Stability
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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