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Background: Talinum triangulare (Jacq.) Willd [Portulacaceae] is commonly consumed as vegetable and used for medicinal purposes. Its root is used as tonic and for managing hypertension, asthma, schistosomiasis, scabies and fresh cut wounds. The aim of this study is to evaluate the toxicity of the aqueous root extract of T. triangulare (ARTT).
Methods: Acute toxicity tests of ARTT administered orally at 1,250?10,000 mg/kg and intraperitoneally at 125?1,250 mg/kg were carried out using albino mice. Ninety days toxicity test of ARTT (10, 50 and 250 mg/kg; p.o.) was also performed using albino rats.
Results: The LD50 obtained for oral and intraperitoneal acute toxicity tests were 5,623 mg/kg and 398 mg/kg respectively. In the subchronic toxicity test, ARTT significantly (p < 0.05) reduced body weight and food intake of male and female rats. It significantly (p < 0.05) altered heart, pancreas, testes and ovaries weights of male and female rats. Histological examination revealed pathological changes in the structure of rats’ lungs and kidney tissues. Red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelet count reduced significantly (p < 0.05) in female rats while white blood cells count reduced in both male and female rats. Significant (p < 0.05) increase in triglycerides and cholesterol were noted for male and female rats respectively. Alteration of biochemical indices of renal and hepatic functions among other effects were also observed.
Conclusion: These results show that ARTT induces weight loss, anorexia, pancytopenia, nephrotoxicity and other toxic effects. This finding indicates that the ingestion of ARTT poses significant health risk.
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