Asian Food Science Journal,
Background: Nigella sativa oil (NSO) has been suggested for use in several food and pharmaceutical applications due to its bioactive contents.
Objectives: The present study investigated the effects of 14 µl/g body weight dosage of NSO on body weight, gut microflora and liver function status (LFS) of albino wistar rats. Phytochemical analysis of NSO extract was done.
Materials and Methods: Sixty male Wistar rats were randomly assigned into two groups: 14 µl/g body weight of NSO was administered to group A while group B was given an equal volume of distilled water. Five rats provided baseline data for weight, the microbial counts and LFS in a 12-weeks experiment. At two weeks interval, five rats were sacrificed from each group and their intestinal contents were used for the microbial count (Viable, Coliform, E. coli, Staphylococci and Lactic acid bacteria (LAB)) assessment and the blood samples for LFS study.
Results: Nigella sativa oil showed the presence of alkaloids (0.083 mg/g), flavonoids (0.302 mg/g), saponins (0.325 mg/g), terpenes (0.138 mg/g), steroids (0.152 mg/g), tannins (0.008 mg/g) and terpenoid (0.138 mg/g). In both groups, the weight of rats continued to increase from the onset of the study, but between 10th and 12th week, non-significant (p>0.05) weight reduction was observed from 191.72±3.23 g to 189.30±4.71 g in the treatment group. Baseline Viable, Coliform, E. coli, Staphylococci and LAB counts (x 106 CFU/g) were 160, 146, 55, 23, and 154 respectively. Sequel to intake of NSO for twelve weeks, the microbial counts (x 106 CFU/g) were respectively 49, 38, 27, 11, and 318. Blood samples also showed a significant (p<0.05) reduction in LFS for Aspartate aminotransferase (78.48 to 60.06U/L), Alanine aminotransferase (30.80 to 18.54 U/L), Alkaline phosphatase (97.00 to 79.34U/L), and Bilirubin (0.52 to 0.20 U/L).
Conclusion: Beneficial effects of NSO at the investigated dosage of 14 µl/g body weight has been demonstrated as no toxicological effect was observed.