Biological Effect of some Herbs in Improvement of Anemia in Rats

Document Type : Original Article


Clinical Nutrition Fellowship, Cairo University Hospitals


The potential health benefits of Safforn (Crocus sativus), Ginger (zingiber officinale) andCumin (Cuminumcyminum ) powder as functional food supplement to improve iron absorption as well as to treat anemia  associated with deficiency in iron intake were evaluated in rats. Four experimental groups were fed on diet supplemented with 5% of tested herbs and 1%iron gluconate for 4 week versus the control rats group fed on basal diet free in iron as positive control group and the group fed on basal diet as negative control.At the end of the experiment, rat groups fed herbs supplemented diets were characterized by the level of serum iron, measured levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit and ferritin. Liver functions was assessed by estimation of plasma concentration of enzymes activities of aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT),  uric acid, creatinine, MDA level, GSH and GSSG activity.Results showed significant increasing in the level of serum iron, in addition, there were variable increases in the measured levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit and ferritin in herbs fed groups as compared with the positive control group. In addition, there was an improvement in case of tested herbs at the level of 5% for the above parameters as compared to positive control group. These data suggested that saffron followed by ginger, herbs mixtures andcumin powder could improve tested parameters and iron bioavailability when incorporated in daily diets and therefore, could be considered as a very effective food supplement to prevent and treat anemia.


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