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Moringa oleifera seeds are widely accepted as a nutritional supplement. The seeds are consumed and are sold on the shelf of nature, herbal shops, pharmacy and supermarkets. They are consumed as herbal remedy for various diseases. This study was designed to evaluate the acute and sub-acute toxicity of defatted ethanolic extract of Moringa oleifera seed (DESMOL) in albino rats using standard methods. The extract at 400, 800, 1600mg/kg caused no significant changes (P>0.05) in haematological parameters such as PCV, RBC, Hb, MCV, MCH, WBC, lymphocyte and platelet counts. In contrast, the extract, at 800 and 1600mg/kg caused significant changes in the levels of total protein (P<0.05), total and conjugated bilirubin, ALT, AST, ALP and GGT (P<0.05). The results of the histopathology showed that the extract at doses above 400mg/kg caused kidney damage by inducing widespread necrosis of tubular epithelial cells. Findings from this study revealed that grave consequences attend the chronic consumption of Moringa seeds as this could lead to kidney damage.
Keywords: Moringa oleifera, Sub-chronic toxicity, Safety limits