Hypolipemic and antioxidant activities from Tamarindus indica L. pulp fruit extract in hypercholesterolemic hamsters

Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Jun;44(6):810-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2005.10.011. Epub 2005 Dec 5.


Dietary modifications may significantly reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including cholesterol and atherosclerosis. The present study addressed the effects of the crude extract from the pulp fruit of Tamarindus indica L. on lipid serum levels and early atherosclerotic lesions in hypercholesterolemic hamsters in vivo, and the extract's antioxidant action, in vitro. Animals were fed on either chow or atherogenic diet during 10 weeks and concomitantly received either water or T. indica L. extract for drinking. Treatment of hypercholesterolemic hamsters with the T. indica pulp fruit extract (5%) led to a decrease in the levels of serum total cholesterol (50%), non-HDL cholesterol (73%) and triglyceride (60%), and to an increase of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels (61%). In vitro, the extract presented radical scavenging ability, as assessed by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide radicals assays, and led to decreased lipid peroxidation in serum, as assessed by the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay. In vivo, the extract improved the efficiency of the antioxidant defense system, as assessed by the superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities. Together these results indicate the potential of tamarind extracts in diminishing the risk of atherosclerosis development in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Catalase / analysis
  • Catalase / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cricetinae
  • Diet
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / analysis
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / metabolism
  • Hypercholesterolemia / pathology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / analysis
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Superoxides
  • Tamarindus
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Gain


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triglycerides
  • Superoxides
  • Cholesterol
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase