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1.1 Background of the Study
In most plants synthesizing methylxanthines, caffeine becomes the principal constituent. In some species, however, theobromine or methyluric acids accumulate rather than caffeine, this is the case with cocoa tree. Cocoa tree belongs to the Genus- Theobroma, a group of small trees which usually grows in Amazon Basin and tropical areas of South and Central Africa. Theobroma cocoa produces a group of compounds known as Alkaloids (Tease and Evans, 1978).Theobromine formerly known as Xantheose is a bitter alkaloid of the cocoa plant. It was first synthesized from Xanthine by Hermann Emil Fischer, and was first discovered in 1841 in cocoa beans by a Russian Chemist Alexander Woskresensky (Ying and Waller, 1994). Theobromine is a slightly soluble (330mg/L) crystalline bitter powder (Craig and Nguyer, 1984), it is usually white and colourless, but commercial samples can be yellow. Theobromine produces a similar effect on the Human Nervous System as caffeine, though with a lesser effect.
Theobromine is the primary alkaloid found in chocolate; the concentrations however vary in cocoa and chocolate from 2% to 10% (Craig and Nguyer, 1984), with a greater concentration in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate.
In recent times, plants have been an important source of natural products for human health. The use of herbal medicines or nutraceuticals continues to expand rapidly across the world with many people now resorting to these products for treatment of various health challenges in different national healthcare settings. Herbs like Vernonia amygdalina among others have been proven to be useful in the treatment of various diseases. The medicinal potentials of these herbs are attributed to the wide array of phytochemicals present in them. This study is design to evaluate the effects of Vernonia amygdalina on Theobromine-induced renal toxicity in albino Wistar rats.
1.2 Research Problem
Experimental reports have established a correlation of toxicity with increased consumption of Theobromine-contained substances (Ying and Waller, 1994). Consumption of chocolate and chocolate based foods is on the increase, hence the potential risk of theobromine toxicity. The use of herbs in herbal medicine has been proven to be potent and reliable in the treatment of various ailments and diseases. The medicinal potential of Vernonia amygdalina has been confirmed hence the present study is aimed on theobromine-induced renaltoxicity in male albino wistar rats.
1.3 Aim of the Study
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of Vernonia amygdalina on theobromine- induced renaltoxicity in male albino Wistar rats.
1.4 Justification of the Study
Kidney damage remains a threat to the life of many individuals in almost all parts of the world. Clinicians and traditional medicine practioners have been constantly faced with the management of this by the use of Xenobiotics and herbal administration with a possible synergistic effect. Vernonia amygdalina has been well known for its prowess in alleviating a number of ailments as it possesses antioxidant, antibacterial activities among others (Achuba, 2018).
Recent studies have reported the adverse effect on the kidney function and other organs following administration of theobromine on albino Wistar rats (Ying and Waller, 1994). Hence, there is the need to investigate potential options in combating the toxic effect of theobromine.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of this work includes;
i. Ethanol extraction of Vernonia amygdalina leaves.
ii. Administration of the extract to the experimental animals.
iii. Administration of theobromine independently and in combination to experimental animals.
iv. Extraction of whole blood through Cardiac puncture of anaesthetized experimental animals.
v. Separation of serum by Centrifugation.
vi. Determination of biochemical parameters (kidney function indices) of the experimental animals
vii. Statistical analysis
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