Background and Aim: Obesity has reached epidemic proportions around the world, resulting in severe health effects and financial costs, which have led to prompt actions and the advancement of phytochemistry technologies as new treatment techniques. This study aimed to assess and compare the anti-obesity, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects of some common and safe doses of natural products like bitter orange, flax seeds, and ginger in adult male albino rats fed a high-fat diet.
Methods: Fifty adult male albino rats were divided into five groups (n=10): a negative control group that received a balanced normal diet, a positive control group that received a high-fat diet (HFD) for eight weeks, and other 3 groups were fed HFD for eight weeks receiving daily 20 mg/kg/day of bitter orange fruit aqueous extract (standardized at 10% p- synephrine) or 250 mg/kg/- day of flax seeds ethanol extract or 200 mg/kg/day of ginger rhizomes ethanol extract for the last 4 weeks. All rats were sacrificed at the end of the study to obtain blood, liver, and kidney samples for biochemical and histopathological analyses.
Results: The herbal extracts reduced body weight, lipid profile, inflammatory markers alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and C reactive protein (CRP), malondialdehyde (MDA), and liver enzymes, all of which had been increased by the HFD. Furthermore, treatment with herbal extracts resulted in a significant reduction and improvement of the proliferated inflammatory infiltration, congested veins, and fatty vacuolated vesicles induced by HFD in liver and kidney tissues. Bitter orange exhibited the strongest anti-obesity effects, while flaxseed and ginger showed the strongest antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in response to the HFD.
Conclusion: In obese rats, the use of these herbal extracts displayed a variety of possible protective and therapeutic effects. As a result, they are recommended for obese people, and further research is needed to determine the effects of a combination of various biochemical components found in these plant extracts on obesity and related disorders.
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