EFFECT OF WITHANIA SOMNIFERA (ASHWAGANDHA) LEAVES EXTRACT ON L-METHIONINE INDUCED HYPERHOMOCYSTEINEMIA IN RATSAbstract
Withania somnifera is a traditional indigenous plant having numerous medicinal values. With renewed interest, the present study was undertaken to determine its new potential therapeutic benefit. We aimed to evaluate the effect of methanolic extract of Withania somnifera leaves in L-methionine induced hyperhomocysteinemia in rats. Wistar rats (250-300 gm) were divided into 5 groups (n=6/group): Group I= Normal control (vehicle, 1% CMC); Group II= Hyperhomocysteinemic rats (L-methionine, 1 gm/kg, p.o.); Group III= Methanolic extract of Withania somnifera (200 mg/kg, p.o.); Group IV= Methanolic extract of Withania somnifera (400 mg/kg, p.o.); Group V= Folic acid (1 gm/kg, p.o.). All the rats except normal control group were treated with L-methionine for the induction of hyperhomocysteinemia. Animals of Group III-V were subjected to the respective treatment for 30 days. On completion of the study, serum homocysteine, cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, VLDL, and HDL level were determined. Administration of L-methionine significantly increased the serum homocysteine, cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, VLDL levels while decreased HDL level compared to normal control. Methanolic extract of Withania somnifera (200 and 400 mg/kg) decreased serum homocysteine level, improved lipid parameters by decreasing cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, VLDL levels and increasing HDL level. The homocysteine and lipid-lowering potential of Withania somnifera in higher dose (400 mg/kg/d) were found in an extent similar to the folic acid, (standard drug). These findings indicate clear evidence that the methanolic extract of Withania somnifera treatment has a beneficial effect in lowering homocysteine level. The effect may be due to the presence of high catechin content in leaves of Withania somnifera.