Hepatoprotective effect of commercial herbal extracts on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in Wistar rats

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Background : Various hepatoprotective herbal products from plants are available in Mexico, where up to 85% of patients with liver disease use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. However, only few studies have reported on the biological evaluation of these products. Objective : Using a model of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 )-induced hepatotoxicity in rats, we evaluated the effects of commercial herbal extracts used most commonly in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico. Materials and Methods : The commercial products were identified through surveys in public areas. The effect of these products given with or without CCl4 in rats was evaluated by measuring the serum concentrations of aspartate amino transferase (AST) and alanine amino transferase (ALT), and histopathological analysis. Legalon ® was used as the standard drug. Results : The most commonly used herbal products were Hepatisan® capsules, Boldo capsules, Hepavida® capsules, Boldo infusion, and milk thistle herbal supplement (80% silymarin). None of the products tested was hepatotoxic according to transaminase and histological analyses. AST and ALT activities were significantly lower in the Hepavida+CCl4 -treated group as compared with the CCl4 -only group. AST and ALT activities in the silymarin, Hepatisan, and Boldo tea groups were similar to those in the CCl4 group. The CCl4 group displayed submassive confluent necrosis and mixed inflammatory infiltration. Both the Hepatisan+CCl4 and Boldo tea+CCl4 groups exhibited ballooning degeneration, inflammatory infiltration, and lytic necrosis. The silymarin+CCl4 group exhibited microvesicular steatosis. The Hepavida+CCl4 - and Legalon+CCL 4 -treated groups had lower percentages of necrotic cells as compared with the CCl4 -treated group; this treatment was hepatoprotective against necrosis. Conclusion : Only Hepavida had a hepatoprotective effect.




Cordero-Pérez, P., Torres-González, L., Aguirre-Garza, M., Camara-Lemarroy, C., Guzmán-De La Garza, F., Alarcón-Galván, G., … Muñoz-Espinosa, L. E. (2013). Hepatoprotective effect of commercial herbal extracts on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in Wistar rats. Pharmacognosy Research, 5(3), 150–156. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8490.112417

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