Acute and subchronic (13-week) toxicity of fermentedAcanthopanax koreanumextracts in Sprague Dawley rats

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The biological fermentation of plants is usually used to improve their product properties, including their biological activity. Acanthopanax koreanum is a plant indigenous to Jeju, Korea; however, fermented A. koreanum (FAK) has not been guaranteed to be safe. Therefore, in this study, a safety evaluation of aqueous extracts of FAK was performed using Sprague Dawley rats. The acute toxicity of FAK did not influence animal mortality, body weight changes or the animals' clinical appearance at a concentration of 5000 mg/kg body weight. Using doses of 500, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg/day in a subchronic (13-week) toxicity study, the administration of FAK in male rats increased their body weight, food consumption, absolute liver weight, liver-associated enzymes and total cholesterol content. However, these effects of FAK were not considered toxic because the changes were not accompanied by any evidence of clinical signs or any change in the histopathological examination. On the other hand, the FAK-treated female rats did not exhibit significant changes in their body weight, food consumption, absolute and relative organ weights or liver enzymes. These results suggest that the acute oral administration of FAK is non-toxic to rats, and 13 weeks of repeated dosing demonstrated no FAK-related toxicity at a concentration of 2000 mg/kg. Therefore, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of FAK was determined to be 2000 mg/kg/day for both male and female rats.

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