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Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of aqueous root extract of Lecaniodiscus cupanioidies Planch. (Sapindaceae) against loperamide-induced constipation in Wistar rats.
Methods: Constipation was induced by oral administration of loperamide (3 mg/kg body weight). The constipated rats were orally treated daily either with 50, 150, 250 mg/kg body weight per day of the extract or 0.21 mg/kg bisacodyl (reference drug) for 7 days while the normal control group received distilled water. The feeding characteristics, body weight, faecal properties and gastrointestinal transit ratio were monitored throughout the study period. The activities of acid phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutaryltransferase (GGT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were also determined in the serum of the animals.
Results: There was significant decrease (p < 0.05) between normal and constipated rats in the number of faecal pellets (54.06 and 45.43) while body weight increased (124.45 and 135.38 g) respectively. Administration of 250 mg/kg L. cupanioides extract to the constipated rats significantly normalized (p < 0.05) their body weight gain (8.15 g) and gastrointestinal ratio (87.75) compared to the constipated control. Serum levels of ACP and AST were significantly elevated (p < 0.05) in the 150 and 250 mg/kg dose groups compared to controls while ALP witnessed reduction. However, there was no alteration in the levels of GGT and LDH across all groups.
Conclusion: The aqueous root extract of L. cupanioides possesses laxative activity in loperamideinduced constipated rats.
Keywords: Constipation, Lecaniodiscus cupanioides, Gastrointestinal transit ratio, Loperamide, Bisacodyl