Assessment of lipid profiles, antioxidant status and liver histopathology in male wistar rats following dietary intake of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)

30 May 2018

Rooibos is a herbal tea which is known to contain a high amount of polyphenols. The lipid profiles, antioxidant status and liver histopathology in male rats fed with aqueous rooibos extract at different concentrations were studied. The rats were randomly divided into groups (A-D). Group A was the control group which received tap water only while groups B, C and D received 2, 4 and 6% aqueous rooibos extracts respectively orally for 7 weeks. The results showed no significant differences in the plasma and liver ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) in all the rooibos extracts fed groups. There were no significant (p>0.05) decreases in total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in all the rooibos extracts fed groups. Liver catalase activity significantly (p<0.05) increased in all of the rooibos extracts fed groups. There were no significant differences in glutathione peroxidase activities in the red blood cells and liver of rooibos extracts fed groups. Superoxide dismutase activities did not show any significant (p>0.05) difference in both the red blood cells and liver of rooibos extracts fed groups. There was a significant increase in glutathione levels at 4 and 6% rooibos extracts when compared with the control group. Total protein, albumin and globulin levels were not significantly (p>0.05) different in all the groups. Histopathological evaluations revealed no adverse effects in the structure of the liver in the rats. In conclusion, intake of rooibos did not have significant effects on lipid profiles while it contributed to the improvement of the body antioxidant system.