Stress, excessive consumption of processed foods, pollutants and many other factors of today's life have caused oxidative stress in our body and damage to genetic material in our cells, leading to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, metabolic syndrome, among others. Medicine has returned to take up traditional remedies mainly in plants. Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius) has been studied in this regard, mainly for its antidiabetic effects; however, there is little information about its antioxidant and protective properties against genotoxic damage. The present study focuses on the evaluation of the antioxidant and protective properties to genotoxic damage of aqueous and methanolic extracts of chaya leaves (C. chayamansa) in a model in mice which were induced to oxidative stress and genotoxic damage by exposure to arsenic and low doses of streptozotocin. Genotoxic damage was assessed by micronucleus count and antioxidant properties were assessed in the extracts and plasmas of the mice by the ABTS radical and using Trolox as standard. Additionally, the extracts were analyzed by HPLC-MS/MS. Mice treated with aqueous extract showed better recovery than those treated with methanolic extract; however, no significant statistical differences were found between both groups. HPLC analysis suggests the presence of some compounds of interest such as ferulic acid, protocatechonic acid, riboflavin, kaempferol and beta carotene. These could be associated with the effects of protection against genotoxic damage and as antioxidants found in the study. The aqueous extract seems have the best performance against genotoxic damage and have better oxidative properties, so the consumption of chaya can be recommended.
Key words: Cnidoscolus aconitifolius, Chaya, genotoxic damage, oxidative stress, micronucleus, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
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