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Research Journal of Medicinal Plants

Year: 2017  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 148 - 159

Effects of Aqueous Extracts of Palm Fruits (Elaeis guineensis) on Liver Function Indices of Male Wistar Albino Rats

Uroko Robert Ikechukwu, Egba Simeon Ikechukwu, Achi Ngozi Kalu, Uchenna Oluomachi Nancy, Agbafor Amarachi, Ngwu Ogochukwu Rita, Nweje-Anyalowu Paul Chukwuemaka and Ogbonna Chisom Esther


Background and Objective: There is increase in the rate of consumption of aqueous extracts of ripe palm fruits (Elaeis guineensis) by humans in their daily diets but there is little or no toxicological data to support the safety of their consumption. This study investigated the effects of aqueous extracts of palm fruits on liver function indices of male Wistar albino rats with the view of understanding the hepatotoxic potentials of the extracts. Materials and Methods: Acute toxicity study was carried out with 18 male Wistar albino mice. Liver function indices were evaluated using 45 male Wistar albino rats and by following standard analytical protocols. The rats were divided into 5 groups with group 1 having 5 rats only and group 2-5 had 10 rats each. Group 1 rats were the normal control that received 2 mL kg–1 b.wt., of normal saline. Five rats each from group 2-5 received 100, 200, 400 and 600 mg kg–1 b.wt., of the fresh and fermented aqueous extracts of palm fruits, respectively for 28 days. Data was analyzed by one way ANOVA using SPSS. Results: The aqueous extracts were relatively safe as no death or adverse reactions were observed in the mice in 24 h after administration. There were significant (p<0.05) dose-dependent increase in all the liver marker enzymes assayed in all the groups administered the aqueous extracts when compared with the normal control. Total protein concentrations of groups 2 and 3 that received low doses of the fresh aqueous extract of palm fruit decreased significantly (p>0.05) when compared to the normal control. However, groups 4 and 5 that received higher doses of the fresh extract showed significant (p<0.05) increase in total protein and bilirubin concentrations when compared to the normal control. A significant (p<0.05) decrease in albumin concentrations was observed when the extracts were administered to the rats in higher doses, respectively when compared to the normal control. Conclusion: The findings suggest that the fresh and fermented aqueous extracts of palm fruit have little or no toxic effects on liver integrity and functions at very low concentration, however, it could cause significant chronic toxic effects on liver integrity and functions at higher concentrations.

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