Nutri-Protection and Mediterranean Diet: Bitter Apricot Kernel and Amygdalin Treatment Effects on a Battery of Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis Biomarkers
The role of nutrition against oxidative stress is increasingly debated in the literature. Much of the traditional food in Mediterranean diet are claimed to possess antioxidant properties but are in need of greater empirical support. This study was designed to test the putative protective effect of 3% and 5% bitter apricot kernel containing food (frequently consumed in Mediterranean diet) treated with amygdalin on apoptosis and oxidative stress in a preclinical model: carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatic damage in Sprage Dawley rats. The animals (n = 64) were divided into eight groups as follows: (i) control, (ii) CCl4; (iii) Amygdalin, (iv) Amygdalin and CCl4, (v) Bitter Apricot Kernel (3%), (vi) Bitter apricot kernel (5%), (vii) CCl4 +Bitter apricot kernel (3%), (viii) CCl4 and bitter apricot kernel (5%). Chronic liver injury was induced by intraperitoneally administering carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) (1 mg/kg body weight for 3 d at the end of 28 days) to rats. The area of liver injury was found significantly decreased with 5% bitter apricot kernel feeding. Serum AST, ALT, TOS activities and hepatic Bcl 2 and NFƙB levels were elevated following CCl4 administration. However, their activities were markedly reduced by supplementation with the bitter apricot kernel (P < 0.05). Serum TAS and hepatic Bax, Caspase 3, Nrf2 levels were decreased by CCl4 admistration. However, they increased in the bitter apricot kernel group versus CCl4 groups. Histopathological examination revealed massive necrosis in the centrilobular area and degenerative changes caused by CCl4 were ameliorated by dietary supplementation with bitter apricot kernel concentrates. These results suggest that bitter apricot kernel concentrates have hepatoprotective effects and may improve the symptoms of liver injuries.