Role of bilirubin as antioxidant in neonatal jaundice and effect of ethanolic extract of sweet lime peel on experimentally induced jaundice in rat

Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2009 Feb;46(1):73-8.


Bilirubin above a threshold level is toxic to human system and is excreted in urinary and through gastrointestinal tract. The role of bilirubin as antioxidant is debatable. This paper aims at elucidating the role of bilirubin as an antioxidant in neonatal jaundice patients. It is observed that bilirubin up to 6 mg/dl in blood acts as an antioxidant and above 12.5 mg/dl is strongly prooxidant. Phototherapy is the accepted therapeutic management of neonatal jaundice and has been shown to enhance the oxidative stress. Approaches have been taken to formulate a herbal medication which will reduce bilirubin level in the neonates without inducing additional damages. The ethanolic extract of sweet lime peel, administered orally at a dose of 72 microg is found to reduce the oxidative stress in erythrocytes of phenylhydrazine-induced jaundiced rats treated with phototherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Bilirubin / chemistry
  • Bilirubin / metabolism*
  • Biliverdine / blood
  • Citrus aurantiifolia*
  • Female
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / chemically induced
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / drug therapy*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Oxidants / blood
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors / blood
  • Phosphogluconate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Transketolase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxides
  • Phosphogluconate Dehydrogenase
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors
  • biliverdin reductase
  • Transketolase
  • Biliverdine
  • Bilirubin