Safety assessment of Uvaria chamae root extract: acute and subchronic toxicity studies
Background: Uvaria chamae is a medicinal plant that is used in many parts of the world in the treatment of diabetes, and other diseases. However, research is needed to ascertain the beneficial and adverse effects of the consumption of the extract. In this study, we evaluated the acute and subchronic oral toxicity and safety of the aqueous root extract of Uvaria chamae in Sprague-Dawley rats.
Methods: In the phase one of the acute toxicity study, the aqueous extract of the root was administered in single doses of 10, 100 and 1000 mg/kg body weight. In the phase two, the extract was administered in single doses of 600, 2900 and 5000 mg/kg body weight. In the sub-chronic toxicity study, the extract was administered at doses of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000 and 5000 mg/ kg body weight/day for 28 days.
Results: The acute toxicity study showed the LD50 of the extract to be above 5000 mg/kg body weight. In the subchronic toxicity study, oral administration of the extract induced a significant (p < 0.05) increase in monocytes count and platelets. There was a significant increase (p<0.05) in AST at 5000 mg/kg compared to the other concentrations administered. At 2000 mg/kg of extract the ALT level was significantly (p<0.05) elevated compared to control and the lower concentrations, while the ALP was significantly (p<0.05) reduced at the doses of 200, 500, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg when compared to control and the other concentrations. There were no significant changes in total protein and albumin at the different doses of the extract. Moreover, the Uvaria chamae extract did not significantly alter kidney function parameters such as creatinine, BUN, Na+, K+, HCO3- and Cl- in comparison to control. Histopathological evaluation showed mild vascular congestion and infiltrates of lymphocytes in the liver and kidney. We also noted well-formed islet cells of Langerhans in rats administered doses ≤ 1000 mg/kg body weight of the extract.
Conclusion: Data from the study showed that the consumption of the extract at any level in the management of diseases may have potential health benefits for the management of anemia.
Keywords: Aqueous root extract; Uvaria chamae; Kidney; Liver; Pancreas