Comparative Effect of Chilli Pepper (Capsicum frutescens) Extract and Capsaicin on Some Haematological Parameters and Serum Electrolytes in Albino Wistar Rats

J. N. Nwangwa *

Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

A. L. Udefa

Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

S. C. Anyaibe

Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

A. S. Iragunima

Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

N. C. Eze

Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aim: Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilli pepper, and is responsible for the pungency of chilli pepper. This study compared the effect of ethanolic extract of chilli pepper fruit and capsaicin on haematological parameters and serum electrolytes in female albino Wistar rats on the background that they are widely consumed in foods.

Methodology: Fifteen female Wistar rats (140 – 200 g b.w) fed with rat feed and water ad libitum were divided into three groups (n = 5) thus: control, chilli pepper and capsaicin groups. The three groups were treated with daily oral administration of 0.2 mL normal saline, chilli pepper extract (5 mg/100 g b.w) and capsaicin (3 mg/100 g b.w) respectively, for 30 days. Blood samples were collected from each animal via cardiac puncture for assessment of haematological parameters and serum concentration of electrolytes.

Results: Red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin (Hb) concentration and packed cell volume (PCV) in both treated groups were significantly (p<0.01) reduced compared with control. PCV was significantly (p<0.05) reduced in capsaicin group compared with the chilli pepper group. Platelet count and platelet large cell ratio (P-LCR) were significantly reduced (p<0.01) in capsaicin group compared with the control. Serum Na+, Cl-, and urea concentrations showed no significant (p>0.05) difference among groups, but creatinine level decreased significantly (p<0.05) in the treated groups compared with the control. Serum HCO3- increased while K+ decreased significantly (p<0.05) in capsaicin treated group compared with the control. Furthermore, serum Kincreased (p<0.05) in chilli pepper group, compared with the control.

Conclusion: Capsaicin and chilli pepper did not cause serious electrolyte imbalance, but reduced red cell indices. Additionally, capsaicin altered platelet parameters. Therefore, we suggest that capsaicin might be detrimental to individuals with bleeding and/or blood coagulation disorders.

Keywords: Capsaicin, creatinine, chilli pepper, haematology, serum electrolytes, urea


How to Cite

N. Nwangwa, J., L. Udefa, A., C. Anyaibe, S., S. Iragunima, A., & C. Eze, N. (2016). Comparative Effect of Chilli Pepper (Capsicum frutescens) Extract and Capsaicin on Some Haematological Parameters and Serum Electrolytes in Albino Wistar Rats. International Blood Research & Reviews, 6(3), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.9734/IBRR/2016/29195

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