This study evaluated the effects of Cyperus esculentus methanolic tuber extract (CEME) on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced sub-acute liver damage in albino rats. Dried tubers of C. esculentus were pulverized and extracted by cold maceration, using 80% methanol. Thirty albino rats, randomly assigned to 6 groups (A–F) of 5 each were used for the study. Sub-acute liver damage was induced in Groups A-E rats using intra-peritoneal injections of CCl4. Group A was treated with distilled water placebo, while Groups B, C and D were treated with 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg CEME, respectively. Group E was treated with 100 mg/kg Silymarin and Group F was also given distilled water placebo. Treatment was done orally for 15 days, after which hepatocellular integrity and liver function were evaluated. Results showed that treatment with CEME (at all doses) led to significantly lower (p<0.05) serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities, bilirubin levels and relative liver weight of the CEME-treated groups, when compared to Group A rats. It was concluded that administration of CEME as used in the study led to significant protection of hepatocellular integrity, enhancement of hepatic excretion of bilirubin and amelioration of CCl4-induced inflammatory enlargement of the liver.
Key words: Cyperus esculentus, methanolic tuber extract, hepatoprotection, liver damage.
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