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Molecules. 2011 Mar 17;16(3):2542-50. doi: 10.3390/molecules16032542.

The effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide on alcohol-induced oxidative stress in rats.

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Department of Transfusion, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP) on alcohol-induced liver damage in rats. A total of 36 rats were divided into control, ethanol and ethanol + LBP groups. Rats in the ethanol group were fed 7 g ethanol/kg body weight by gastric infusion, three times a day, for 30 consecutive days, while rats in the control group received the same volume of physiological saline instead of ethanol, and rats in ethanol + LBP group were fed both ethanol (7 g/kg body weight) and LBP (300 mg/kg body weight/day). Alcoholic liver injury was examined by serum ALT and AST activities, alcoholic fatty liver was assessed by lipid levels, and oxidative stress was evaluated by SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, GSH and MDA assays. In the ethanol group, a significant elevation of enzymes and lipid in serum, increased MDA level and depletion of SOD, CAT, GSH-Px and GSH in liver were observed. LBP administration significantly ameliorated liver injury, prevented the progression of alcohol-induced fatty liver, and improved the antioxidant functions when compared with the ethanol group. Histopathological examination of rat liver revealed that LBP administration protected liver cells from the damage induced by ethanol. The results suggest that LBP is a promising agent to protect the liver from hepatotoxicity and fatty liver induced by ethanol intake.

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