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Background: The use of Xylopia aethiopica fruit in folklore medicine is on the increase without regard to its toxicity.
Aim: This study was aimed at examining its toxicity on the kidney of Wistar rats.
Methodology: The fruits of Xylopia aethiopica were air-dried and extracted using Soxhlet apparatus and ethanol as solvent. The median lethal dose (LD50) of the extract was determined using standard method. Thirty Wistar rats were divided into five groups of six rats each. Animals in groups A, B, C, and D were administered 129.62, 259.23, 388.85 and 518.46 mg/kg body weight of X. aethiopica fruit extract respectively, while those in group E received normal feeds and water only. The administration was done once daily for 28 days via oral route. Renal indices were determined using standard methods.
Results: Elevation in creatinine and urea levels was observed when experimental animals were compared with those in control group. This elevation was insignificant at a low dose of 129.62 mg/kg but significant (P<0.05) at higher doses of 259.23, 388.85 and 518.46 mg/kg when compared to those in control group. Administration of Xylopia aethiopica fruit increased total bilirubin concentration when compared with those in control animals. The increase was significant (P<0.05) when animals treated with 259.23 and 518.46 mg/kg extract were respectively compared with those in the control group. No significant difference was observed in the levels of conjugated bilirubin and bicarbonate. A significant increase was observed in the level of unconjugated bilirubin (except the group treated with 388.85 mg/kg) when compared with those in the control group. A significant (P<0.05) increase was observed in the concentration of sodium following the administration of Xylopia aethiopica fruit at all doses when compared with those in control group. Similarly, a significant increase was observed in the level of potassium (except the group treated with 129.62 mg/kg) when compared with those in control group.
Conclusion: The result of this study revealed that ethanol extract of Xylopia aethiopica fruit is nephrotoxic especially at high dosage. Therefore, its use in folklore medicine should be discouraged.
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