Decreased cardiovascular risk and resistance to hyperlipemia-induced hepatic damage in rats by aqueous extract of Urtica dioica


Alisi C. S, Emejulu A. A, Alisi P. N. C, Nwaogu L. A and Onyema O. O

Hyperlipemia and Hepatic metabolism was studied in hyperlipemic albino rats maintained on a high fat diet. Aqueous extract (100, 200, 300mg/kg/day) of Urtica dioica corrected dyslipidemia and restored hepatic chemistry in hyperlipemic animals. The extract was effective in normalizing the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. Total cholesterol (CHOL), Triglyceride (TG), Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), LDL/HDL-ratio, and Total Non-HDL cholesterol (TNH-CHOL) were significantly reduced by the treatment. There was no significant effect of treatment with extract on the high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). Hyperlipemia was associated with significant elevations in serum liver enzymes (ALT, AST, LDH, and -GT) activities that are markers of altered hepatic chemistry. These elevations were however normalized by treatment with the extract. Hyperlipemia also induced a significant increase in bilirubin levels, decrease in total protein and decrease in albumin levels. These alterations in hepatic chemistry were normalized by treatment with U. dioica at aqueous extract concentration of 300 mg/kg. The study shows that aqueous extract of U. dioica may restore lipemic normalcy, and may posses a potential for reduction of cardiovascular risk and a resistance to hyperlipemia-induced hepatic damage in rats.

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