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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 751714, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/751714
Research Article

Hypocholesterolemic and Antiatherosclerotic Potential of Basella alba Leaf Extract in Hypercholesterolemia-Induced Rabbits

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 14 May 2015; Accepted 11 November 2015

Academic Editor: Dolores García Giménez

Copyright © 2015 Gunasekaran Baskaran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hypercholesterolemia is the major risk factor that leads to atherosclerosis. Nowadays, alternative treatment using medicinal plants gained much attention since the usage of statins leads to adverse health effects, especially liver and muscle toxicity. This study was designed to investigate the hypocholesterolemic and antiatherosclerotic effects of Basella alba (B. alba) using hypercholesterolemia-induced rabbits. Twenty New Zealand white rabbits were divided into 5 groups and fed with varying diets: normal diet, 2% high cholesterol diet (HCD), 2% HCD + 10 mg/kg simvastatin, 2% HCD + 100 mg/kg B. alba extract, and 2% HCD + 200 mg/kg B. alba extract, respectively. The treatment with B. alba extract significantly lowered the levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides and increased HDL and antioxidant enzymes (SOD and GPx) levels. The elevated levels of liver enzymes (AST and ALT) and creatine kinase were noted in hypercholesterolemic and statin treated groups indicating liver and muscle injuries. Treatment with B. alba extract also significantly suppressed the aortic plaque formation and reduced the intima: media ratio as observed in simvastatin-treated group. This is the first in vivo study on B. alba that suggests its potential as an alternative therapeutic agent for hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.