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Effect of Aqueous Extract of Vernonia amygdalina Leaves on Biochemical Indices of Liver Function in Rats
The effects of various concentrations of aqueous extracts of Vernonia amygdalina leaves; 100mg/kg (high dose) and 50 mg/kg (low dose) on some indices of liver function; serum bilirubin (conjugated and unconjugated) alanine and asparate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase were investigated in albino Wistar rats. The classes of chemical components of the aqueous extract of the plant were determined. Anthracene glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, proteins, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, saponins and tannins were found to be present. Acute toxicity test in rats gave an LD50 of 500 mg/kg. The activities of asparate aminotransferase increased significantly for all concentrations administered (P<0.05). The increase in both alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase activities were not significant (p>0.05) for all the concentrations administered. Also the increase of the mean value of conjugated and unconjugated bilirubin levels for all the concentrations administered were not statistically significant (P>0.05). The results therefore, strongly suggest that Vernonia amygdalina leaf extract may not have hepatotoxic effect when used as therapeutic or nutritional agents.