The effect of aqueous leaf extracts of Psidium guajava(PG) and Ocimum gratissimum(OG) on fasting plasma glucose (FPG), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), globulin (GLB), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), HDL-cholesterol (HDL), LDL-cholesterol (LDL) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentrations in rabbits fed high-cholesterol diet was investigated. Four groups of animals were used (n = 6). Animals in group A were fed normal laboratory pellet and water ad libitum; those in group B were fed the high-cholesterol diet (normal diet + 1% w/w cholesterol + 1% w/w vegetable oil) while those in groups C and D received a daily oral administration of 250 mg/kg body weight of the extract of Psidium guajava and Ocimum gratissimum, respectively, in addition to the high-cholesterol diet for a period of six weeks. Hypercholesterolemia, associated with hyperglycemia was induced significantly in animals in group B compared to normal control group (A) (P<0.01). There were also significant increases in the levels of LDL (P<0.05) and HDL (P<0.01). Treatments with PG and OG reduced the plasma cholesterol level by 15% and 28%, respectively, compared to animals in Group B. PG caused a remarkable increase in HDL (69%) but a decrease in LDL (74%) levels. OG on the other hand reduced the levels of both HDL and LDL by 50% and 26%, respectively, compared to animals in Group B. While the level of HDL in the OG group was similar to that of normal controls, the LDL level was significantly higher (71%). Furthermore, both extracts reduced the associated hyperglycemia significantly (P<0.05). This decrease was more pronounced in PG treated rabbits (PG; 43%, OG; 19%). In addition, OG stimulated a significant increase in the concentrations of LDH and serum protein, particularly albumin. These results show that aqueous extracts of both plants especially PG ameliorated the hypercholesterolemic and associated hyperglycemic effects of high cholesterol diet. However, OG shows possible contraindications and the safety of its ethnomedical usage warrants further investigation.
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.