ACUTE AND SUB CHRONIC TOXICITY STUDIES OF PURIFIED WITHANIA SOMNIFERA EXTRACT IN RATS
Objective: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the acute and sub-chronic (90 d; repeated dose) toxicity of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) extract in rats.
Methods: The acute toxicity was evaluated as per OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidelines 423. Purified ashwagandha extract (PAE) was fed at 2000 mg/kg body weight (bw) to overnight fasted female rats. The animals were observed daily for clinical signs of abnormality/mortality. After 14 d, animals were sacrificed and gross pathological changes were recorded. Sub-chronic toxicity of PAE was studied by feeding the extract at 100, 500 and 1000 mg/kg bw daily to rats as per OECD guidelines 408. After 90 d feeding, heamatological and biochemical parameters of treated rats were compared with control animals. Histopathology of all the major organs was also studied.
Results: In the acute toxicity study, no mortality or clinical signs of toxicity were observed in any of the animals at maximum recommended dose level of 2000 mg/kg bw; therefore the LD50 is>2000 mg/kg bw in rats. The repeated administration of PAE for 90 d in rats at the maximum dose level of 1000 mg/kg bw did not induce any observable toxic effects, when compared to its corresponding control animals. The hematology and biochemistry profile of treated rats was similar to control animals and difference was non-significant (p>0.05). The histopathology of major organs of all the control and treated animals was normal. In this study the NOAEL (No Observed Adverse Effect Level) was calculated as 1000 mg/kg bw daily for rats.
Conclusion: The present study clearly indicates that PAE does not have any toxic effects in animals at the dose evaluated as evidenced by acute and sub chronic toxicity studies in rats.
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