Modulation of erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme levels by red palm oil supplementation in male Wistar rats.

28 May 2019

The depletion of antioxidants including antioxidant enzymes is known to increase the risk of complications in conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. In order to investigate such effects, a study was performed to examine the influence of red palm oil (RPO) supplementation on antioxidant enzymes in a rodent model. Male Wistar rats weighing 120-150 g were randomly divided into a control group that was fed a standard rat chow and an experimental group that received a daily dose of 2 ml of red palm oil incorporated in standard rat chow over a period of 6 weeks. Blood samples were collected from the animals at the end of the feeding period and antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione reductase (GR), catalase (CAT) and reduced glutathione (GSH) (a non-enzymatic antioxidant protein) were measured spectrophotometrically. Results showed that RPO caused a significant increase in the activities of SOD, CAT and GR but showed no observable effect on GSH. Our findings suggest that RPO could minimize oxidative damage through its potential ability to increase antioxidant enzymes and it may therefore play a role in the prevention and treatment of oxidative injuries to cells. However, further studies are required to explore and support this hypothesis.