Attenuation of salt-induced hypertension by aqueous calyx extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa
Summary: The aqueous calyx extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) has a folk reputation as an antihypertensive agent. On account of its antioxidant properties and probably high K+ concentration, we hypothesized that HS may attenuate the development of salt-induced hypertension. Sprague-Dawley rats (n=8 each) were treated for 12 weeks as follows: control (normal diet + water), salt-loaded (8% salt diet + water), HS (normal diet + 6mg/ml HS), salt+HS (8% salt diet + 6mg/ml HS) and furosemide (normal diet+ 0.25mg/Kg furosemide). Their blood pressure and heart rates were measured and responses to noradrenalin and acetylcholine (0.01mg/kg respectively) were estimated. The cationic concentration of 6mg/ml HS was determined. The Na+ and K+ concentrations of 6mg/ml HS were 3.6 and 840mmol/l respectively. The mean arterial pressure (MAP±SEM; mmHg) of salt loaded rats (184.6±29.8) was significantly higher than control (113.2±3.0; P<0.05), HS (90.0±7.4; P<0.001) salt+HS (119.4±8.9; P<0.05) and furosemide (94.9±11.5; P<0.01). The MAP of salt+HS and control rats did not differ significantly and the effect of HS was comparable to furosemide. The pressor response to noradrenalin or vasodilator response to acetylcholine remained similar in all groups. These results suggest that HS attenuated the development of salt-induced hypertension and this attenuation may be associated with its high K+ content or high potassium: sodium ratio and not with altered pressor/depressor response to noradrenalin or acetylcholine. Also the effects of HS and furosemide on blood pressure are comparable.
Keywords: Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx, salt-induced hypertension, anti-hypertensive effect, High dietary K+, K+:Na+