Toxicological studies were carried out to investigate the effect of consumption of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides root bark widely used in traditional medical practices and as protectant of stored cereal products in Nigeria, using albino rats. Serum, kidney and liver were tested for oxidation stress and tissue damage markers; aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), urea, bilirubin and creatinine contents, and Kidney and liver glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione transferase (GST), non-protein sulphadryl (NP-SH), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), total sulphadryl (T-SH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). These tests were carried out using commercially available kits. Results obtained for all doses (1, 5 and 10%) of the tested parameters did not significantly vary with control (p>0.05), indicating normal liver and kidney function (even in the face of variation in liver GPX and SOD. This study has proven that the plant is safe for human consumption at the rates or dosages tested.
Key words: Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides, albino rats, toxicology, biochemical parameters.
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