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Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2008 Jul;2(2):26-44.

Study of protective effect of date and nigella sativa on aflatoxin b(1) toxicity.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia.



Many medicinal plants and their purified constituents have been shown beneficial therapeutic potentials. Seeds of Nigella sativa, a dicotyledon of the Ranunculaceae family, have been utilized for thousands of years as a spice and food preservative.


the toxic effect of aflatoxin-B(1) (AFB(1)) and the possible cytoprotective effect of Nigella sativa (NS) oil and aqueous extract of date were studied on 40 male rats. The animals were divided into 4 groups (10 rats each) and treated daily for two weeks. Group 1 received normal saline as controls. Group 2 treated via intraperitoneal (IP) route with AFB(1) (50μg/kg BW). Group 3 treated with AFB(1) and NS oil via IP. Group 4 treated with AFB(1) and received orally aqueous extract of date (15mg/15ml). The liver and kidneys of each animal were histological examined and biochemical evaluation of the liver and kidney functions was performed.


Group 2 showed severe degenerative and necrotic changes in the liver and kidney. The plasma levels of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), creatinine and urea in AFB(1) group were significantly higher than the control group. Livers and kidneys of rats, treated with AFB(1) and NS showed less histopathological changes in comparison with the AFB(1) treated group. Livers and kidneys of rats treated with AFB1 and date group showed only mild histopathological changes in comparison with AFB(1) treated group. These histopathological changes seen in animals treated with AFB1 and dates were associated with a significant reduction in levels of ALT, AST, creatinine and urea. Likewise, histopathological changes in the AFB1 and NS group were associated with significant reduction in the levels of beforementioned indices. Moreover, AFB1 and date group showed significant improvement in liver function comparing with AFB(1) and NS group.


our study revealed that treatment with AFB(1) induced histopathological changes in the tissues of liver and kidney associated with dysfunction of these organs. Both NS and date reduce the toxic effects of AFB(1) in liver and kidney. But date treatment was more cytoprotective for liver than NS treatment against aflatoxicosis in rats.


Aflatoxin B1 toxicity; Date; Kidney; Liver; Nigella sativa; rats


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