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Anti-lipidemic actions of essential oil extracted from Ocimum sanctum L. leaves in rats fed with high cholesterol diet

Author(s): Thamolwan Suanarunsawat | Watcharaporn Devakul Na Ayutthaya | Thanapat Songsak | Jittraporn Rattanamahaphoom

Journal: Journal of Applied Biomedicine
ISSN 1214-021X

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: hyperlipidemia | Ocimum sanctum | liver lipid | faeces lipid | essential oil

Ocimum sanctum L. (OS) leaves have been shown to have a potential for lipid-lowering action. Thepresent study was conducted to evaluate the anti-hyperlipidaemic ability of the EO extracted from OSleaves in rats fed with a high cholesterol (HC) diet. EO of OS leaves was extracted using thehydrodistillation method and its chemical composition was further determined by GC-MS. The resultsshowed that phenylpropanoid compounds (eugenol and methyl eugenol) were the major components ofthe EO. There were no significant differences in body weight gain, food intake, and heart weight in allgroups of rats. The HC diet apparently raised the serum total cholesterol, LDL-C and atherogenic indexwithout significant effect on serum triglyceride, whereas it decreased the HDL-C level. The EOsignificantly decreased serum total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglyceride and atherogenic index whereas nosignificant effect on HDL-C was observed. EO depressed a high level of liver total cholesterol andtriglyceride whereas no significant effect on both lipids excreted in faeces was found. It can beconcluded that the EO extracted from OS leaves contributes to a lipid-lowering action in HC rats. Itsanti-hyperlipidaemic action is predominantly due to the suppression of liver lipid synthesis.Phenylpropanoid compounds, the main composition of EO are possibly responsible for the lipidloweringeffect.
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