The effect of ethanolic seed extract of Cucurbita maxima on lipid profile in wistar rats fed on normal and high fat diet
Thirty (30) adult wistar rats were used to study the possible effects of ethanolic seed extract of Cucurbita maxima on lipid profile. The rats were divided randomly into two groups, that is, normal diet group and high fat diet group. Each group was further subdivided into three sub groups (A1,B1,C1 for the normal diet group and A2,B2,C2 for the high fat diet group) with five rats in each group. Groups A1 and A2 served as control while groups B1,B2,C1 and C2 served as the experimental groups. The experimental groups in the normal diet group received daily oral doses of 200mg and 400mg per kg of body weight of the extract respectively, while the experimental groups in the high fat diet group received daily oral doses of 200mg/kg of the extract + 200mg of cholesterol and 400mg/kg of the extract + 200mg of cholesterol respectively for a period of three weeks. Estimation of plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL/LDL ratio were carried out. Statistical analysis was done using ANOVA and the results were expressed as Mean ± SEM and P<0.05 was considered as statistically significant. The results revealed significant decrease in plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL in both the normal diet group and high fat diet group, as well as a significant increase in HDL and HDL/LDL ratio. It was concluded that the observed changes in these lipid profile parameters indicate that the seed of Cucurbita maxima may have lipid lowering properties and could be of immense health benefit.
Keywords: Cucurbita maxima, normal diet, lipid profile, high fat diet, HDL-cholesterol, rat