Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice (AMFJ) is very rich in polyphenolic compounds. Quercetin is a naturally occurring flavonoid, one of AMFJ polyphenols. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of AMFJ in comparison with quercetin in a model of paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. AMFJ at doses of 2.5 and 5.0 ml/kg and quercetin at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg were administered daily orally from day 1 to day 7 to different animal groups. Paracetamol was applied intraperitoneally (1.0 g/kg) on day 5. Blood and liver ware taken for biochemical investigations on day 7. Liver toxicity was estimated by the serum activities of the enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Oxidative stress was estimated by the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in liver homogenate and serum. Paracetamol caused a significant elevation of serum AST and ALT, and induced lipid peroxidation as measured by the significant increase of TBARS in serum and liver. In animals pretreated either with AMFJ or quercetin, liver enzyme activities did not differ significantly from the control levels. Both AMFJ and quercetin prevented the elevation of TBARS in the liver at the two applied doses and in the serum only at the higher of the tested doses. In the present model of paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity, the protective effect of AMFJ was comparable to that of quercetin.
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