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The effect of Rooibos on trace elements absorption and biochemical parameters : a murine model
Over the past few decades, it has been shown that various critical diseases including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes associated with free radical generation and low endogenous antioxidant capacity, lead to oxidative stress and cell injury. In recent years, numerous studies have also reported that antioxidants, present in various beverages, vegetables and some foods have attracted a significant research interest due to their potential benefits to human health. However, epidemiological evidence shows a correlation between the intake of food rich in antioxidants and the reduced incidence of some mortality of chronic diseases, certain cancers and coronary heart disease. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of rooibos teas (fermented and unfermented) and green tea as a comparison on the biochemical parameters and the trace element absorption in a rat model. In this study 4 groups of experimental animals were used. All groups had ad libitum access to standard rat chow. Group A, the controls (11 animals), were fed with tap water; group B (11 animals) were fed with the liquid extract of fermented rooibos tea; group C (9 animals) were fed with the liquid extracts of unfermented rooibos and group 0 (9 animals) were fed with the liquid extract of green tea. All groups were fed for a period of 10 weeks. After the feeding period, the animals were sacrificed by euthanization with intraperitoneal injections of pentobarbital. Blood was sampled by cardiac puncture and centrifuged to obtain the serum. Some elemental analyses were performed with X-ray emission and backscattering. ICP-OES was used to determine the magnesium content. For X-ray emission, backscattering and ICP-OES analyses, 100 µL of each serum sample in a group were added to 2 ml freeze-drying tube. Of the combined specimen, 100 µL was used for the magnesium determination by ICP-OES. The remainder of the combined serum specimens for each group were freeze-dried at -80°C and then pressed into a pellet. The pellet was coated with carbon and analyzed using X-ray emission and backscattering. The elemental X-rays of P, S, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu, Co, Zn, Mo, Ca and Se emitted were quantified to obtain the respective concentrations. Biochemical chemistry analyses were performed on each serum sample of each animal. The biochemical parameters tested for were total protein, albumin, globulin, total bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase, blood urea nitrogen, uric acid, total cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, creatine phosphokinase and creatinine.