Effect of Benincasa hispida Fruit Dry Powder on Behaviour Changes and Antioxidants Levels in Adult Wistar Rats: An Experimental Study
Dr. Umamaheswari Anbarasu,
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Peelamedu, Coimbatore-641004, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Chronic stress has been implicated to be the important aetiological factor involved in several pathologies. Antioxidants play major roles in the maintenance of good health in the cellular level. Various studies have shown the anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, antidepressant, and antioxidant effects of Benincasa hispida (B.hispida) (white pumpkin). There is no available literature exploring the effects of this B.hispida dry powder on food intake, body weight, behavioural changes and antioxidant levels in whole animal model.
Aim: This study aimed to understand the protective effects of the B.hispida dry powder in overcoming stress induction by analysing the pattern of food intake, behavioural changes and body weight and the change in blood levels of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Malondialdehyde (MDA) in adult wister rats.
Materials and Methods: This experimental study was conducted in the Department of Pharmacology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Tamil Nadu, India, for the duration of 3 weeks during the month of March 2020. Six male wister rats were obtained from the central animal house and assessed for baseline values of parameters including body weight, food intake, behaviour changes, blood levels of SOD and MDA and they were used as controls (without treatment) later. Then another 12 animals, matched for age and weight were selected and divided into two test groups (six in each). The animals in test groups 1 and 2 were pretreated with dry powder preparation of B.hispida at a dose of 250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg orally and once daily respectively. The entire study population of 18 animals (control, group 1 and group 2) subjected to stress in a restrainer for 2 hours per day for 7 days. The study parameters were repeated at the end of 24 hours and at the end of 7 days. Results were analysed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in Statistical Package for Social Sciences software version 24.0.
Results: The results were 500 mg /kg dose of B.hispida helped in overcoming stress induction by giving the statistically significant (p-value<0.05) results of increase in body weight, food intake pattern and normalised general behaviour after 24 hrs and 7 days of repeated stress induction. But no significant changes were seen in blood levels of SOD (p-value>0.05) and MDA (p-value>0.05).
Conclusion: Based on the previous literatures, it was stated as “sparing effect of the powder” that is, exogenous supplementation is likely to suppress its endogenous production of antioxidants. This mechanism could attribute to the potential beneficial effect of B.hispida on the outcomes, despite having no significant alterations in blood levels of SOD and MDA. Further studies are needed to confirm the effects B. hispida in overcoming stress induction.