Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis) fruit juice protects against ethanol-induced hematological and biochemical damages in rats

  • Hichem Alimi
  • Najla Hfaeidh
  • Zouhour Bouoni
  • Sakhria Mbarki
  • Mohsen Sakly
  • Khémais Ben Rhouma
Keywords: Opuntia, alcohol, blood, liver, kidney, toxicity


A putative beneficial effect of Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis prickly pear juice (OFIj) was tested on ethanol-induced hematological and biochemical damages in rats. Our results show that chronic ethanol treatment (300 mg/100 g body weight for 90 days) of Wistar rats (group 2) significantly reduced red blood cells (RBC) and platelet (Plt) counts, hemoglobin (Hb) content, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) whereas white blood cells (WBC) counts and the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) significantly increased as compared to the controls rats treated with same distilled water (group 1). In addition, serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT) as well as urea, creatinine, cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations significantly increased in ethanol-fed rats. Furthermore, serum, hepatic and renal lipid peroxidation levels were also increased in animals given ethanol compared to the controls. In alcoholic rats co-treated with 4 ml OFIj / 100 g b.w. (group 3), all the above cited parameters were maintained to near-normal values. In group 4 only 4 ml OFIj / 100 g b.w. was given, no changed parameters was shown. Therefore, OFIj appeared to be a promising agent for protection against ethanol toxicity.

Key words: Opuntia, alcohol, blood, liver, kidney, toxicity.


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eISSN: 1684-5315