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Niger J Physiol Sci. 2006 Jun-Dec;21(1-2):55-60.

Increased plasma total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein levels produced by the crude extract from the leaves of Viscum album (mistletoe).

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Department of Physiology, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.


The effect of an aqueous extract prepared from the leaves of Viscum album (Mistletoe) on plasma cholesterol and albumin levels in male Wistar rats was studied. Lethality studies revealed that the extract had an LD50 value of 417.0 mg/kg mice, intraperitoneally. The rats were randomly divided into seven (7) groups of 5 rats per group with one animal per metabolic cage. Group one served as the control (C1), groups two to six were treated with extract (200 mg/kg body weight orally and daily) for a maximum of ten (10) weeks, whereas, group seven (C2) received no extract treatment but was fed on normal rat chow. All the rats had free access to rat food and drinking water. The first group (C1) was sacrificed a fortnight after the commencement of the experiment, while group seven (C2) was sacrificed at the end (10th week) of the experiment. The extract-treated groups were sacrificed respectively in the order two, four, six, eight and ten week of extract administration. Whole blood was collected from these groups for analysis. Results showed significant [P < 0.01] increases in the level of total cholesterol (TC) from 1.92 +/- 0.11 mMol/L to 2.59 +/- 0.02 mMol/L (about 35% increase) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) from 0.95 +/- 0.02 mMol/L to 1.50 +/- 0.08 mMol/L (about 58.50% increase) at week ten. The LDL levels, the total protein and albumin levels did not show any significant change from the control values. From the results, it is suggested that the crude aqueous extract from mistletoe leaf may be relatively safe for therapeutic use as it neither predisposes to cardiovascular risk nor adversely affects protein metabolism following prolonged period of administration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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