Citrus paradisi Macfad (Rutaceae) popularly called grapefruit is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries. The juice of C. paradisi fruit is commonly used both as a beverage and in folkforic medicine for the treatment of several disease conditions. In the present study, the effects of C. paradisi fruit juice on the Wistar rat liver histology and oxidative status were investigated. 200, 400 and 600 mgkg-1 per day orally of the extract was administered on three groups of Wistar rats respectively for 60 days. A fourth group that served as control was given 5 mlkg-1 daily, orally of distilled water. Animals that had 200 mgkg-1 of the extract showed improved liver histology and a largely preserved liver oxidative status. However, the groups of rats that were treated with both 400 and 600 mgkg-1 of the extract exhibited poor histological profiles and increased evidence of liver oxidative stress. The results therefore indicate that, while the lower dose of C. paradisi fruit juice is hepato-protective, the higher doses indeed demonstrate hepato-toxicity in the rat. Thus, the dose of application of the extract in folk medicine and even in beverages should be regulated to forestall possible hepatic derangement.
Key words: Citrus paradisi, liver, histology, rat.
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