Authors: Ishiaq Ola Omotosho, Temitope Olusanya, Augustin Onyeaghala
In spite of increased use of herbal preparations in the treatment of diseases, there is dirge of scientific evidence on their possible toxic effects and most of their pharmacological claims. We investigated the toxic effect of a popular Nigerian herbal preparation (Yoyo Bitters) on the kidney and liver of Wister rats. One hundred Wister rats weighing averagely 120grams were kept in groups of 10 in separate cages. Groups 1-8 were kept for 4, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42days respectively while groups 9 and 10 served as controls. Groups 1-8 (cases) were fed with normal rat chow and given the herbal preparation by gavage while the control groups were fed only rat chow. Blood samples collected at the specified days above were analyzed for calcium, inorganic phosphorus, creatinine, uric acid as kidney function biomarkers while as liver function biomarkers, total protein, albumin, total and conjugated bilirubin levels along with activities of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine amino transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate amino transaminase (AST) were also estimated spectrophotometrically. Mean values ranged from 5.50±0.70 -- 8.30±0.46; 7.50±1.80 – 24.90±10.00; 0.70±0.20 -- 0.85±0.0.01 and 1.40±0.80 – 6.50±2.20 for plasma calcium, inorganic phosphorus, creatinine and uric acid in cases respectively over the period of the experiment. Levels were significantly different for inorganic phosphorus, creatinine and uric acid in comparison to the control. Mean total and conjugated bilirubin levels ranged from 1.40±0.06 – 0.60±0.20 in cases as against 0.92±0,20 in controls while mean conjugated bilirubin levels ranged from 0.64±0.10 as against o.27±0,20 in controls. Mean enzyme activities ranged from 201±28 - 88±35 as against 340±51 in controls, mean ALT ranged between 172±100 - 52±23 in cases as against 158±61 in controls and mean AST ranged from 426±71-146±90 in cases as against 347±136 in controls. A scattered plot and correlation analysis of the days against levels of the biochemical parameters however showed no significant variation in the levels of these parameters except in the uric acid level which showed a significant proportional increase over the 42-day period of the experiment. Administration of this herbal preparation did not show a significant alteration in liver functions and may not be associated with gross abnormality in both glomerular and tubular functions of the kidney in the experimental animals. Observed hyperuricaemia may be more of antioxidant properties of the preparation.