ISSN: 0970-938X (Print) | 0976-1683 (Electronic)

Biomedical Research

An International Journal of Medical Sciences


Nutritional composition of Jatropha tanjorensis leaves and effects of its aqueous extract on carbon tetrachloride induced oxidative stress in male Wistar albino rats

Many consumers of Jatropha tanjorensis leaves claim that the leaves are nutritious and in addition, possess nutraceutical properties that promote good health. Such claims can be misleading since there is no scientific data to validate their claims. This study evaluated the nutritional and antioxidant properties of the aqueous extract of Jatropha tanjorensis leaves in carbon tetrachloride induced male Wistar albino rats with the aim of validating some nutritional and nutraceutical properties claimed by local consumers. Anti-nutritional factors, vitamins, proximate and mineral compositions were determined using standard analytical protocols. Acute toxicity and antioxidant properties were investigated with 18 male mice and 30 male Wistar albino rats respectively. The data obtained were statistically analysed using one-way analysis of variance. Anti-nutritional analysis revealed presence of alkaloids and phytate in relatively high amounts while glycosides and tannins were undetected. The leaves have nutritionally good proximate composition. High vitamin A, low vitamins B1 and C and undetectable level of vitamin E were also observed in the leaves. Relatively high amount of sodium (402.20 ± 1.97 ppm) and iron (50.67 ± 0.76 ppm) were observed. Acute toxicity study revealed the relative safety of the aqueous extract as no mice exhibited signs of toxicity or death after 24 hours of oral administration. The CCl4 induction caused significant (p<0.05) decrease in antioxidant enzymes activities when compared with the normal control, however, treatment with graded doses of the extract resulted in significant (p<0.05) dose dependent increase in catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and significant (p<0.05) dose dependent decrease in malondialdehyde concentration when compared with the positive control. It is concluded that the leaves are nutritionally rich and possess antioxidant properties that could effectively ameliorate oxidative stress; however, excessive consumption may impair bioavailability of some nutrients due to high phytate content.

Author(s): Ochulor Okechukwu Chigozie, Njoku Obioma Uzoma, Uroko Robert Ikechukwu, Egba Simeon Ikechukwu
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