Dehydrated extract of the prickly pear fruit Opuntia ficus indica, Cacti-Nea, was evaluated for its chronic diuretic and antioxidant effects in Wistar rats. Cacti-Nea was orally administered daily for seven days at the dose of 240 mg/kg/day. A positive group was orally treated with hydrochlorothiazide at the dose of 10 mg/kg/day and a control group with vehicle. Daily measurements of body weight, urine volume, and concentration of sodium, potassium and uric acid in urine were performed for each rat. At the end of the study, the blood globular level of glutathione peroxidase was determined. Cacti-Nea significantly increased the urine volumes excreted by rats in comparison with the control group and it showed a trend to reduce significantly the body weight gain of rats. No significant differences were observed in the urine concentration of sodium, potassium and uric acid in comparison with the control group. The chronic diuretic effects of Cacti-Nea were comparable with that of the standard drug hydrochlorothiazide. Chronic oral administration of Cacti-Nea significantly increased the blood globular levels of glutathione peroxidase in comparison with control and hydrochlorothiazide groups. The prickly pear fruit extract Cacti-Nea demonstrated chronic diuretic and antioxidant effects in Wistar rats with respect to the excretion of the metabolites.
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