Experimental studies that aimed to determine the effects of crude aqueous resin extracts of the Commiphora swynnertonii on plasma cholesterol levels and weight changes were carried out in rats (Rattus rattus). A total of 24 experimental rats divided into four groups with equal sample size (n=6) were used. Group one (G1) served as negative control that received 0.5ml of distilled water (0 mg/kg) orally. Groups 2 (G2), 3 (G3) and 4 (G4) received 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body weight orally on daily basis for 21 days respectively. Results revealed a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in the body weight and on cholestrol levels between the treated and the control groups in a dose dependent manner (R2 = 0.89). Commiphora swynnertonii resin lowered cholesterol level by 54, 76 and 79% and weight changes by 18, 31 and 23% for the exposed rats at concentrations of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg BW respectively. The rats were able to tolerate resin at concentrations lower than 100 mg/kg BW. At higher (>100 mg/kg) doses, few rats showed signs of illness including diarrhoea and finally death. Based on these results, C. swynnertonii has a potential to serve as an anti-cholesterol agent with body weight lowering properties.
Key words: Oltemwai, Cardiovascular diseases, rats, Tanzania, blood chemistry.
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