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Introduction Alcohol abuse, alcohol intolerance and other alcohol-related disabilities are some of the most challenging public health problems. Alcohol, by its property of generating free radicals, causes severe damage to the membrane and affects almost all organs of the human body. Ellagic acid (EA), a natural polyphenolic compound found in fruits and nuts, possess several biological properties. Our aim was to investigate, in vivo, the antioxidant potential of ellagic acid against oxidative stress induced by alcohol intoxication.
Methods Female albino Wistar rats were used for the study. The toxicity was induced by administering 20 percent alcohol orally (7.9 g/kg body weight) for 45 days. Rats were treated with EA at three different doses (30, 60 and 90 mg/kg body weight) via intragastric intubations. The antioxidant property of EA was studied by assessing the activities of liver marker enzymes (gamma-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatase), superoxide dismutase and catalase and the levels of vitamin E, vitamin C and reduced glutathione, nitric oxide (NO), protein carbonyl content (PCC), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and hydroperoxides.
Results Oxidative stress was effectively modulated by EA co-administration. EA significantly improved the status of antioxidants and decreased TBARS, hydroperoxides, NO, PCC and liver marker enzymes at the dose of 60 mg/kg body weight when compared with the alcohol-treated group.
Conclusion The study provides the antioxidant and cytoprotective properties of EA at a dose of 60 mg/kg body weight against oxidative stress induced by alcohol.
Keywords: alcohol-induced prooxidant, antioxidant, ellagic acid, lipid peroxidation, liver marker enzymes, polyphenol
Singapore Med J 2007; 48(4): 311–318