The increased demand for herbal remedies and natural quest for alcohol consumption has positioned alcoholic herbal preparations (bitters) as ideal drink. Bitters are acclaimed to have blood detoxifying and liver cleansing potentials. This study investigated the acclaimed detoxifying potentials of an alcoholic bitter (AB) on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced toxicity. Twenty five male Wistar albino rats were grouped and treated, thus: group I served as normal control, groups II, IV and V were given single dose of 1.2 ml CCl4/kg body weight (bwt). Groups IV and V were administered 1.4 and 2.8 ml AB/kg bwt, respectively, while group III animals were administered 1.4 ml AB/kg bwt. Results obtained showed significant (p<0.05) increase in lipid peroxidation and in activities of liver function enzymes, reductions in glutathione concentration and activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase and reductase in groups administered AB and CCl4 only as well as in groups treated with AB after CCl4 exposure. These observations indicate manifestation of oxidative stress induced by excessive consumption of high percentage alcoholic content of the bitter. Similarly, the result trends of other antioxidant parameters studied indicated significant oxidative damage and thus the inability of the alcoholic bitter to ameliorate xenobiotics induced damage.
Key words: Alcohol, bitters, toxicants, oxidative stress, hepatotoxicity, xenobiotics.
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