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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Antioxidant Properties of Amaranthus hypochondriacus Seeds and their Effect on the Liver of Alcohol-Treated Rats

Amaranth constitutes a valuable pseudocereal, due to its nutritional quality and its nutraceutical properties, which contribute to improve human health. 

This work evaluated the effect of a diet based on Amaranthus hypochondriacus (Ah) seed on oxidative stress and antioxidant status in the liver of rats sub-chronically exposed to ethanol.

The seed extract was investigated for antioxidant capacity in vitro, showing an adequate content of total phenols and antioxidant activity elevated. 

For in vivo assays, four groups of six rats each were fed with an AIN-93 M diet for 28 days. In groups III and IV casein was replaced by Ah as the protein source; groups II and IV were received ethanol in the drinking water (20% v/v). 

When comparing groups IV and II, the following was observed: significant decrease in the activity of aspartate aminotransferase and content of malondialdehyde (p < 0.001) in serum; decrease of malondialdehyde and increase in the activity and gene expression of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase, also, decrease in the NADPH oxidase transcript levels (p < 0.05) in liver. 

Our data suggest that Ah is a good source of total phenols and exerts a protective effect in serum and in liver of rats intoxicated with ethanol.

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