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Pimpinella anisum L. fruit: Chemical composition and effect on rat model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes a group of chronic liver disorders caused by irregular accumulation of fat in liver tissue. The current study aimed to evaluate chemical composition and the effect of fruit extract and essential oil of Pimpinella anisum in experimental model of NAFLD.

Materials and Methods: Sixty rats were randomly divided into ten groups, six in each group. NAFLD was induced in rats using choline-deficient diet for 90 days, followed by 30 days of treatment with 25, 50, 100,and 200 mg/kg/day of hydroethanolic extract (AE) as well as 0.125, 0.25, and 0.5 mg/kg/day of essential oil (AO). Blood samples were collected in the final day, and lipid profile, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as well as biomarkers of oxidative damage including myeloperoxidase, lipid peroxidation, total thiol molecules, and ferric-reducing ability ofplasma were measured. Liver tissue sections of the sacrificed rats were also assessed histologically.

Results: AE and AO significantly reversed increase in the plasma levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and triacylglycerol and decrease inhigh-density lipoprotein level in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05). Serum levels of AST and ALT were also significantly modified pby treatment with AE and AO (P < 0.05). Biomarkers of oxidative stress were modulated by administration of AE and AO (P < 0.05).Histological assessments also confirmed the effectiveness of treatments by reduced macrovesicular steatohepatitis.

Conclusion: It could be concluded that P. anisum fruit extract and essential oil have beneficial effects in the treatment of NAFLD. Further studies are necessary to confirm safety and efficacy of this medicinal plant in clinical setting.