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Antioxidant effects of Etlingera elatior flower extract against lead acetate - induced perturbations in free radical scavenging enzymes and lipid peroxidation in rats

Tan Jackie1, Nagaraja Haleagrahara1* and Srikumar Chakravarthi2

Author Affiliations

1 Human Biology Division, School of Medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Pathology Division, School of Medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:67  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-67

Published: 17 March 2011



Etlingera elatior or 'pink torch ginger' (Zingiberaceae) are widely cultivated in tropical countries and used as spices and food flavoring. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant effects of Etlingera elatior against lead - induced changes in serum free radical scavenging enzymes and lipid hydroperoxides in rats.


Rats were exposed to lead acetate in drinking water (500 ppm) for 14 days alone or plus the ethanol extract of E. elatior (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg). Blood lead levels, lipid hydroperoxides, protein carbonyl contents and oxidative marker enzymes were estimated. Lead acetate in drinking water elicited a significant increase in lipid hydroperoxides (LPO) and protein-carbonyl-contents (PCC). There was a significant decrease in total antioxidants, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase levels with lead acetate treatment. Supplementation of E. elatior was associated with reduced serum LPO and PCC and a significant increase in total antioxidants and antioxidant enzyme levels.


The results suggest that flower extract of Etlingera elatior has powerful antioxidant effect against lead - induced oxidative stress and the extract may be useful therapeutic agent against lead toxicity. However, detailed evaluations are required to identify the active antioxidant compounds from this plant extract.