Terminalia Sericea aqueous leaf extract protects growing wistar rats against fructose-induced fatty liver disease

Busisani W. Lembede 1 , Kennedy H. Erlwanger 1 , Pilani Nkomozepi 2  and Eliton Chivandi 1
  • 1 School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2 Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
Busisani W. Lembede
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
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, Kennedy H. Erlwanger
  • School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
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, Pilani Nkomozepi
  • Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
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and Eliton Chivandi
  • School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
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Terminalia sericea (T. sericea) is traditionally used to treat stomach ailments, infections, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Previous in vitro studies have reported that T. sericea has lipolytic properties. This study interrogated the effects of T. sericea on linear growth, development of fatty liver disease, viscera morphometry and health of growing rats fed a 12% fructose solution (FS).


Thirty 21-day old male Wistar rat pups were randomly allocated to five treatments: group I - plain gelatine cubes (PGC) + plain tap water (PW), group II - 12% FS + PGC, group III - gelatine cubes containing fenofibrate (Feno) at a dose of 100 mg/kg body + FS, group IV - gelatine cubes containing the low dose (100 mg/kg body mass per day) of the T. sericea extract (TsL) + FS, group V - gelatine cubes containing the high dose (400 mg/kg body mass per day) of the T. sericea extract (TsH) + FS. Following 12 weeks of feeding, the rats were fasted overnight, euthanized and plasma and viscera harvested for analysis.


Consumption of fructose resulted in significantly increased (p<0.05) liver lipid content and caused macrovesicular steatosis. The T. sericea extracts at 400 mg/kg per day suppressed the fructose-induced liver lipid accumulation and macrovesicular steatosis similarly to 100 mg/kg per day of Feno.


These findings suggest that the aqueous T. sericea leaf extract at 400 mg/kg per day could potentially protect against fructose-induced lipid accumulation as well as macrovesicular steatosis.

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The Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine focuses on evidence concerning the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) whole systems, practices, interventions and natural health products, including herbal medicines.