GC/MS Analysis and a 30-day Toxicological Evaluation of a Nigerian Immunomodulatory Polyherbal Supplement (PHS)
Keywords:GC/MS, Herbal toxicity, Histology, Herbal supplement, Phytochemicals
Background and Purpose: A Nigerian-formulated polyherbal supplement (PHS) is consumed for its folkloric claims of boosting the immune system. The aim of this study was to toxicologically evaluate a 30-day administration of PHS.
Methods: Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis was carried out on the ethanol extract of PHS. Thirty-two Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups. One group served as control while the other three groups were administered 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day of PHS for 30 consecutive days. The animals were anesthetized, and cardiac puncture was used to obtain whole blood for hematology and serum biochemistry. In vivo, antioxidant assays were also carried out on the liver homogenates. The liver, kidneys, and heart were examined histologically.
Results: The most abundant compounds identified were eucalyptol, alpha-pinene, and phytol. There were no adverse hematological effects. Total cholesterol, LDL-C, and catalase were reduced significantly (P<0.05). At 1000 mg/kg/day, there was a significant increase in creatinine, sodium ion, and glutathione peroxidase concentration. The histological examination of the heart, kidneys, and liver revealed that PHS did not cause any major tissue lesions at 250 and 500 mg/kg/day. Tissue lesions and pathologies were obvious at 1000 mg/kg/day.
Conclusion: The polyherbal supplement seems to be relatively safe if used at doses up to 250 mg/kg/day. Higher doses may cause renal and hepatic lesions.
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