Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Studies of Kernel Extract of <i>Sclerocarya birrea</i> In Rats.
Sclerocarya birrea fruits are widely eaten in developing countries especially in rural areas and serves as nutrients supplements. However, they also contain phyto-toxin which may affect the normal functioning of the body. Acute toxicity was performed by a single oral administration at a dose of 3000 mg/kg body weight. Sub chronic evaluation was done by oral feeding of the rats with the seed kernel extract daily at doses of 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 mg/kg body weight for 28 days. The results of acute toxicity showed no mortality and general behavior changes. The lethal dosage (LD50) was greater than 3000 mg/kg body weight. Rats fed with 1000 and 2000 mg/kg body weight of the extract showed increased body weights throughout the period of treatment but not significantly (p<0.05) different from the control group. Significant (p<0.05) reduction in the body weights were noticed in those administered with 3000 and 4000 mg/kg body weight at the 4th and all the weeks respectively. Significant (p<0.05) increased in serum total protein, albumin, bilirubin, transaminases, creatinine, urea, uric acid and electrolytes were observed in rats fed with 3000 to 4000 mg/kg body weight of the extract, suggesting liver and kidney toxicity. Therefore, the seed kernel extract of S. birrea may be relatively toxic at doses of 3000 and 4000 mg/kg body weight.