Aim: Results from previous studies on the effects of intake of garlic on the body antioxidant system appear inconclusive. This study measured glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) activities, Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) and selenium (Se) level in rabbits fed a high-garlic diet.
Methods: Ten rabbits randomly assigned into two groups (group 1=control and group 2= test) of five rabbits each were used for the experiment. The diet of group 2 was mixed with raw garlic homogenate (1.75g/Kg body weight/day) for 4 weeks. Two sets of blood samples were collected from each animal at the beginning of the experiment (baseline) and at the end (4 weeks). Blood samples were analyzed for blood GPx and serum CAT activities and TAS by spectrophotometric methods while Se was determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric (AAS) method.
Results: At baseline, means of the parameters measured did not differ significantly between groups 1 and 2. At the 4th week, means of TAS (1741.20±381.53 µmol Trolox equiv/L), Se (47.20±12.22 µg/dl), CAT activity (273.20±68.05 U/L) and GPx activity (12392.00±3068.34 U/L) in the test group were significantly higher than means of the corresponding control group (820.20±91.94 µmol Trolox equiv/L, 20.80±1.92 µg/dl, 145.40±13.35 U/L, 8528.00±1757.59 U/L, respectively). There were positive associations between CAT and GPx (r = 0.65, p<0.01) activities, CAT and TAS (r = 0.77, p<0.01), GPx and TAS (r = 0.66, p<0.01) and Se and TAS (r = 0.70, p<0.01).
Conclusion: Results from this present study suggest that significant increases observed in the activities of antioxidant enzymes, Se level and TAS could possibly be associated with consumption of high garlic diet by the rabbits. Overall, the significant increase in the CAT and GPx activities as well as the levels of Se and TAS seen in the test group at the end of the study suggests that consumption of raw garlic extract could result to increases in the activities of important antioxidant enzymes and improve the total antioxidant status of the body of rabbits.
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