Investigations of Safety of Aqueous Fractions derived from the Ash of Deseeded Fruit Head of the Oil Palm | Abstract
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Investigations of Safety of Aqueous Fractions derived from the Ash of Deseeded Fruit Head of the Oil Palm

Author(s): Nubila I. Nkoyo*, Okoroafor Uchenna, Orji Ikechukwu, Okpe Aaron Chukwuemeka, Okorie Nkiru, Oguanobi Nelson, Shu Elvis Neba, Udeinya Iroka Joseph

In this paper, investigation of the safety of two aqueous fractions from the African oil palm deseeded fruit head ash extract was done by assessing the acute and subacute effects of the two oil palm ash derived fractions, (Fractions A and C) in Wistar rats. A total of ninety-eight rats of both sexes were used for this study. Oral acute toxicity was determined by a modification of Lorke’s method using 56 rats. For the subacute study, 42 rats were weighed and randomly assigned to 7 groups (A1-A3, C1-C3, and B) of 6 rats each. Rats were weighed and graded doses of 1, 10 and 100 milligrams per kilogram body weight ( mg/kg bw) of fraction A were administered to groups A1, A2, and A3; fraction C to groups C1, C2 and C3, and 0.5 milliliters distilled water/kg bw to the control group (B) orally, once daily for 28 days. After the treatment period, blood samples were collected from all the experimental animals in each group for biochemical and haematological assays using standard procedures. Following blood sampling, the rats were sacrificed under mild anesthesia and the liver, heart, kidney, and spleen harvested for the histological assessment using standard histological methods. From this study, the LD50 of fractions A and C was 2449.5 and 3872 mg/kg bw respectively. Statistically significant increase in percentage body weight was observed in fraction A treated group after 2 weeks of treatment with 10 and 100 mg/kg and after 4 weeks with 10 mg/kg (p<0.05 each) of fraction and in the fraction C treated group at 10 mg/kg bw after 4 weeks when compared with the control group. Red cell count was significantly higher in group A2 (p<0.01) and A3 (p<0.05), while Hb concentration was significantly higher (p<0.05) in group A2 only, when compared with the control group. AST, ALT, ALP, total bilirubin, and direct bilirubin mean values of the fraction treated groups were comparable with that of the control after 4 weeks and not statistically significant (p>0.05). The liver, kidney, heart, and spleen showed no histological alterations in the fraction treated and control groups. This work, therefore, suggests that the palm ash in its use as a condiment, food additives, and herbal therapies in small quantities is relatively safe.