Toxicity Study of Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) Extract in Normal Sprague Dawley Rats

Fidelis E Olumese, Henrietta A Oboh


The safety of beetroot as a health promoting and disease preventing functional food was evaluated. Freeze dried beetroot was extracted with distilled water. Different doses of 10-1000 mg/kg and 1600-5000 mg/kg body weight were administered orally as a single dose (acute toxicity). Doses of 200-3000 mg/kg body weight/day for 28 days were administered orally (subchronic toxicity) as against distilled water in the control group. The LD50 was greater than 5000 mg/kg body weight. Animals were euthanized and examined for biochemical and haematological changes. Feed intake was normal, but the body and organ weights were significantly (p<0.05) increased. There was a significant (p<0.5) decrease in serum blood glucose levels at 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight of extract. Platelets and lymphocytes were significantly (p<0.05) decreased at lower doses of extract, while WBC, monocyte and granulocyte increase were dose dependent. The level of MCHC was significantly (p<0.05) increased in the test groups when compared to control. The extract consumption is safe, and possesses hypoglycaemic potentials.
Keywords: Beetroot, Toxicity, Safety, Dose, Extract

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