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Phytother Res. 2008 Apr;22(4):458-71. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2337.

Long term exposure effect of a unique metabolic nutrition system containing a diverse group of phytochemicals on serum chemistry and genomic and non-genomic changes in the liver of female B6C3F1 mice.

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Molecular Toxicology Laboratories, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York 11201, USA.


The nutritional value and therapeutic benefits coupled with presumed safety have heightened interest in the use of custom designed dietary supplements. Their use has increased substantially since the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health Education Act. However, few well-controlled studies have been conducted to assess the safety and potential adverse effects of dietary supplements. MNSO (MNS Orange-AdvoCare) is a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and herbal extracts designed to provide a strong foundation of nutritional support, enhance thermogenesis, heighten energy levels and improve immune status. This investigation was designed to explore the safety and toxic effects, if any, of 12 months of continuous exposure to the ephedra and caffeine containing MNSO on serum chemistry and histopathology of seven vital target organs in female B6C3F1 mice. MNSO is enriched with extracts of citrus, Ephedra, Ginkgo, green tea and Ocimum. In this study, mice were fed control (-MNSO) or MNSO (1x-10x, 1x = daily human dose) diets. Blood was collected from all groups including the control every 4 months for serum chemistry analysis (enzyme, lipid, carbohydrate, electrolyte profiles), and liver tissue was collected for tissue biochemistry and histopathology. Multiple biochemical parameters included: (i) determination of oxidative stress via lipid peroxidation and (ii) assessment of genomic integrity via DNA fragmentation. In addition, food consumption and body weight changes were also monitored biweekly. The data showed that 12 months ingestion of 10x-MNSO did not significantly influence organ histopathology, alter the normal serum chemistry profile or any of the crucial tissue biochemistry. MNSO-exposed animals were more active, consumed more food and were relatively leaner compared with the controls. This study indicates that a caffeine and ephedra containing metabolic nutrition system is non-toxic and non-hepatotoxic in mice at up to 10x the human consumption dose of ephedra.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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