Evaluation of the effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Berberis vulgaris root on the activity of liver enzymes in male hypercholesterolemic rats

Soheila Taheri, Ali Zarei, Saeed Changizi Ashtiyani, Azam Rezaei, Saeed Zaheiri
Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine 2012, 2 (3): 153-61

OBJECTIVES: Hyperlipidemia can cause a variety of diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and fatty liver which is followed by increased liver enzymes. Since Berberis vulgaris (B. vulgaris) root possesses antioxidant properties, the present study was conducted to investigate the effect of its extract on the activity of liver enzymes in rats.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this experimental study, sixty Wistar rats were selected and allocated to six groups of ten each. The control group received a normal diet and the sham group received a fatty diet while the other groups including experimental groups received a fatty diet and the alcoholic extract of B. vulgaris at minimum (75 mg/kg), moderate (150 mg/kg), and maximum (300 mg/kg) doses by intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) or oral atorvastatin (10 mg /kg) with a fatty diet. At the end of this 21-day period, blood samples were drawn and the levels of the intended factors were measured. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 11.5.

RESULTS: The comparison of the obtained results showed that the levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzymes in the sham group that only received fatty food increased (p≤0.05), whereas in the treatment groups receiving B. vulgaris extract as well as in the group receiving Atorvastatin, these enzymes significantly decreased; however, no significant changes were observed in aspartate transaminase (AST) levels.

CONCLUSION: Noticing the antioxidant properties of B. vulgaris root extract and its effects on reducing the activity of liver enzymes, the extract of this plant can be a good choice for improving the function of liver.

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