Aqueous extract of Senna mimosoides leaves (ASML) (a common weed in Savannah region of the African Continent) has been used in management of lactose intolerance and breast toxicity by locals. This study evaluated phytoconstituent of the aqueous extract of S. mimosoides leaves and the effect on lactase activity and subsequent electrolyte-inducing potentials. Thirty female albino rats were used for this study and were divided into groups of five rats each: Groups A rats were normal control. Hepatotoxicity was induced with the use of carbon tetrachloride on Groups B, C, D, E and F. Groups B, C and D were treated with extract, administered orally at three dose level (50, 100 and 250 mg/kg body weight of the extract respectively). Group E was treated with 25 mg/kg body weight of Silymarin (standard drug) while Group F served as the negative control. Phytochemical analyses, activities of Intestinal Lactase activity, Total Protein Analysis and the serum ion concentrations of Iron (Fe), Selenium (Se), Zinc (Zn), Calcium (Ca), Phosphate (HPO4-), Magnesium (Mg), Sodium (Na) and Potassium (K) were determined using standard methods. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of phenols, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, reducing sugars, steroids and cyanide. Lactase activity increased significantly (P<0.05) with increasing concentrations of ASML. Total protein content of Groups B, C and D increased significantly (P<0.05) when compared to Group F. Apart from Fe and PO32- which showed significant (P<0.05) highest values for Group F, all other ions (Mg, K, Ca, Zn, Se and Na) showed significant (P<0.05) increases in serum levels of Groups B, C and D as compared to Group F. Increased doses of Group D were significantly (P<0.05) higher than Group E for the later ions. The result of the study suggests that the aqueous extract of S. mimosoides leaves contain some bioactive compounds that possess electrolyte-inducing/restorative properties and since it increases lactase activity in Wistar rats, may be a viable claim in the management of lactose intolerance.
Key words: Senna mimosoides, hepatoxicity, lactase, electrolyte inducing potentials.
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