Main Article Content
Hypertension remains a major health problem in terms of treatment, management and control despite recent advances in modern medicine. In the face of the prevalence of this major health problem, lack of accessibility to modern health facilities, rising cost of orthodox medical care where available, lack of definitive curative regiment and prolong treatment which discourages adherence, the use of functional foods with medicinal potential is of major importance as it is proximal, less constraining and inexpensive. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the hypotensive activity of a commonly used fruit and food, Solanum macrocarpum, and the probable mechanism of action. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups of 6 animals each. The normotensive and salt-induced hypertensive rats were treated with both aqueous and ethanolic extracts of S. macrocarpum for 4 weeks. The blood pressure, pulse pressure and heart rate of the rats were measured. Urine and serum samples were collected from the rats and analysed for their cation contents. The results indicated that both extracts of S. macrocarpum significantly reduced the blood pressure in salt-induced hypertensive rats demonstrated which was demonstrated by marked decrease in the SBP, DBP, MAP, HR and PP. Furthermore, both extracts increased the GFR, urine volume and urinary Na+ and K+ excretions. This study demonstrated that the aqueous and ethanol extracts of S. macrocarpum has hypotensive effect on both normotensive and hypertensive rats possibly due to its diuretic activities.