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Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Lui, Edmund

Ed. by Ko, Robert / Leung, Kelvin Sze-Yin / Saunders, Paul / Suntres, PH. D., Zacharias

CiteScore 2017: 1.41

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Estrogenic properties of spices of the traditional Cameroonian dish “Nkui” in ovariectomized Wistar rats

Edwige Nana Tchoupang
  • Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Sylvin Benjamin Ateba
  • Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Stéphane Zingue
  • Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon
  • Department of Life and Earth Sciences, Higher Teachers’ Training College, University of Maroua, Maroua, Cameroon
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/ Martin Zehl / Liselotte Krenn / Dieudonné Njamen
  • Corresponding author
  • Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon
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Published Online: 2016-03-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2015-0096


Background: Besides the basic role to flavor and color foods, several health benefits have been attributed to spices. The traditional Cameroonian food “Nkui” is prepared using several spices (Afrostyrax lepidophyllus Mildbr., Capsicum frutescens Linn., Fagara leprieurii Guill. et Perr., Fagara tessmannii Engl., Mondia whitei Hook. F. Skell., Pentadiplandra brazzeana Baill., Solanum gilo Raddi., Tetrapleura tetraptera Taub. and Xylopia parviflora A. Rich. Benthane) that are believed to have a positive impact on the female reproductive physiology. Aiming to determine the potential effect of this food on the female reproductive tract, we evaluated the estrogenic properties of aqueous and ethanol extracts of Nkui using a 3-day uterotrophic assay in ovariectomized (OVX) rats.

Methods: OVX female Wistar rats were randomly separated in several groups of five animals each and submitted to a 3-day uterotrophic assay (per os). At the end of treatment, animals were sacrificed and uterus, vagina and mammary gland collected and fixed in 10 % formalin for histological analysis.

Results: These extracts increased the uterine wet weight, the uterine and vaginal epithelial heights, and the lumen and diameter of alveoli in the mammary glands. They also altered the estradiol-induced increase of uterine wet weight. The dichloromethane and methanol fractions of the ethanol extract exhibited estrogenic properties as well by increasing uterine and vaginal endpoints.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the spices of “Nkui” contain estrogenic phytoconstituents and this traditional food may be considered as functional.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: estrogenic activity; functional food; spices; uterotrophic assay


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About the article

Received: 2015-10-25

Accepted: 2015-12-23

Published Online: 2016-03-15

Published in Print: 2016-06-01

Citation Information: Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 151–162, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, ISSN (Print) 2194-6329, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2015-0096.

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