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Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2009 Jul;61(4):363-70. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2008.07.006. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

Protective role of chickpea seed coat fibre on N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced toxicity in hypercholesterolemic rats.

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Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India.


N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) is one of the important carcinogenic nitrosamines frequently present in human environment and food chain that poses a significant human health hazard. This study was planned to investigate the protective role of dietary fibre on NDEA-induced toxicity in hypercholesterolemic rats. Oral administration of NDEA at a dose of 100mg/kg diet to experimental rats under hypercholesterolemic conditions evoked severe biochemical and pathological changes. Supplementation of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) seed coat fibre in the diet along with NDEA reduced its biochemical and pathological effects. There was a reduction in the hepatotoxic effects of NDEA as evidenced by decreased hepatic degeneration and improved liver weight index. Administration of NDEA resulted in a significant increase in the osmotic fragility of erythrocytes. The antioxidant activity of experimental animals decreased in the NDEA-fed group, which was evident by increased in vitro lipid peroxidation (LPO) of erythrocytes. However, chickpea seed coat fibre considerably reduced the peroxidative damage done by NDEA. Administration of NDEA also resulted in a significant increase in LPO in all the tissues to a varying degree, although the effect on antioxidant potential was variable in different tissues. However, chickpea seed coat fibre reduced the effect of NDEA on LPO and antioxidant potential of various tissues, providing reasonable protection against NDEA-induced oxidative stress and hence its toxicity. Histopathological analysis of different tissues (heart, liver and lungs) showed decrease in the severity of pathological changes among the experimental animals when they were given NDEA along with chickpea seed coat fibre in the diet as compared with giving NDEA alone. Our study therefore, emphasizes the importance of including dietary fibre in the diet, in combating the ill-effects of nitrosamines such as NDEA, particularly on the antioxidant status of the body.

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