Chrysobalanus icaco L. is a medicinal plant, used to treat diabetes and dyslipidemia in Brazil. The biological effects may vary depending on the source of plant. Experiments were performed to assess these effects from plants collected in the field and those obtained from dried herbs market. Glycemia, cholesterol and triglycerides serum concentrations were measured in healthy and diabetic rats treated with aqueous extract of leaves. Diabetic rats treated with the extract showed lower serum triglycerides, but there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in glycemia and cholesterol levels, compared to the control group without diabetes. Also, the genotoxic effects of these extracts were evaluated using the comet assay in total blood cells obtained from healthy rats ingested with extracts instead of drinking water. This assay showed that the extracts from either free market or endemic area were genotoxic. However, the extract obtained from the popular market was more genotoxic than that prepared from field plants. This study demonstrates that though the extract has therapeutic property that lowers the rate of triglycerides, it is not free of deleterious effects; this calls for precaution in its use as a phytotherapeutical agent.
Key words: Chrysobalanus icaco, cholesterol, comet assay, genotoxic potentiality, triglycerides, diabetes.
STZ, Streptozotocin; SCGE, single cell gel electropho-resis; CHOD-PAP, cholesterol oxidase-peroxidase 4-aminophenazone; GPO-PAP, glycerophosphate oxidase-peroxidase-4-aminophena-zone.
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