The protective effect of vitamin C against theobromine induced toxicity in male albino Wistar rats was investigated. Twenty-five (25) male Wistar rats weighing between 140 – 160 g were divided into 5 groups with 5 rats in each group. Group 1 served as the control. Group 2 received 700 mg/kg body weight of theobromine daily for 4 days. Group 3 was administered 100 mg/kg body weight of Vitamin C daily for 21 days. Group 4 was intoxicated with 700 mg/kg of theobromine daily for 4 days before treatment with 100 mg/kg of Vitamin C for 21 days while Group 5 received 700 mg/kg of theobromine daily for 4 days and was allowed to recover naturally for 21 days. Biochemical indices of liver, kidney function and lipid profile were assayed using serum. The liver, kidney and heart tissues were used for histological studies. Significant increase (p<0.05) in serum enzyme activities and concentrations of urea, creatinine, total and LDL cholesterol as well as decreased HDL cholesterol concentration were observed in Group 2 compared to the control. Treatment with Vitamin C in Groups 3 and 4 significantly decreased (p<0.05) the activities of the serum enzymes, concentrations of urea, creatinine, total and LDL cholesterol while the concentration of HDL cholesterol was significantly increased when compared to Group 2. Histological evaluation of the liver, kidney and heart sections revealed degenerated cytoarchitecture and inflammation of these tissues following theobromine intoxication. However, the toxic features were observed to resolve in Group 4 when vitamin C was administered while cytoarchitectural degeneration persisted in Group 5. In conclusion, theobromine induced liver, kidney and cardio toxicity with negative modulation of lipid profile while vitamin C ameliorated the toxic effect of theobromine in albino Wistar rats.
Key words: Vitamin C, theobromine, liver function, kidney function, lipid profile, cardiotoxicity.
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