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Phytother Res. 2006 Dec;20(12):1040-5.

Hypolipidaemic activity of aqueous Ocimum basilicum extract in acute hyperlipidaemia induced by triton WR-1339 in rats and its antioxidant property.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University Mohamed I, Oujda, Morocco.


Hyperlipidaemia, atherosclerosis and related diseases are becoming a major health problem in developing countries. Ocimum basilicum is one of the medicinal plants widely used in Morocco to reduce plasma cholesterol and to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis-related diseases. However, mechanisms underlying the reported hypolipidaemic effect of this plant have not been investigated. This study evaluates the lipid lowering effect of aqueous Ocimum basilicum extract in Triton WR-1339-induced hyperlipidaemic rats. Hyperlipidaemia was developed in animals by intraperitoneal injection of Triton (200 mg/kg). After injection of Triton the animals were divided into three treatment groups: hyperlipidaemic, hyperlipidaemic plus herb extract and hyperlipidaemic plus fenofibrate treated rats. At 7 h after the Triton injection, levels of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol in rats treated also with the Ocimum basilicum extract (0.5 g/100 g body weight) were, respectively, 50%, 83% and 79% lower than Triton-treated rats and HDL-cholesterol was 129% higher than in rats given Triton alone. At 24 h following Ocimum basilicum administration, total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol levels decreased by 56%, 63% and 68%, respectively, in comparison with the Triton treated group and HDL-cholesterol was not increased significantly. The hypolipidaemic effect exerted by Ocimum basilicum extract was markedly stronger than the effect induced by fenofibrate treatments. Further it was demonstrated that Ocimum basilicum aqueous extract displayed a very high antioxidant power. These results indicate that Ocimum basilicum extract may contain hypolipidaemic and antioxidant substances and its use as a therapeutic tool in hyperlipidaemic subjects may be of benefit and encourage further investigation in this field.

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