05/04/2017 - Miscellaneous

Repeated-dose toxicity of common ragweed on rats

Repeated-dose toxicity of common ragweed on rats

Kiss T, Szabó A, Oszlánczi G, Lukács A, Tímár Z, Tiszlavicz L, Csupor D.

PLoS One. 2017 May 4;12(5):e0176818. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176818. eCollection 2017.

PMID: 28472131


Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. is an invasive species with highly allergenic pollens. Ragweed originates from North America, but it also occurs and is spreading in Europe, causing seasonal allergic rhinitis for millions of people. Recently, the herb of A. artemisiifolia has gained popularity as medicinal plant and food. The effects of its long-term intake are unknown; there are no toxicological data to support the safe use of this plant. The aim of our study was to assess the repeated dose toxicity of A. artemisiifolia on animals. Ragweed puree was administered in low dose (500 mg/kg b. w.) and high dose (1000 mg/kg b. w.) to male Wistar rats according to 407 OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals. Clinical symptoms, various blood chemical parameters, body weight and organ weights of the rats were measured. Reduced liver function enzymes (AST, ALT), reduced triglyceride level in the low dose and increased carbamide level in the high dose group were observed. The weight of the liver relative to body weight was significantly reduced in both groups, while the brain weight relative to body weight was significantly elevated in both groups. According to our results, the repeated use of ragweed resulted in toxic effects in rats and these results question the safety of long-term human consumption of common ragweed.

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