Effect of Asparagus falcatus on acetaminophen toxicity in mice: a comparison of antioxidative effect with N-acetyl cysteine

J Diet Suppl. 2008;5(1):1-19. doi: 10.1080/19390210802328933.


Objective: In this study, the effect of Asparagus falcatus extract on acetaminophen-induced liver injury was investigated in vivo.

Method: Six arms of study. ICR mice (n = 20) were treated with acetaminophen at a single dose of 300 mg/kg (in saline, after a 16-hr fast) to induce hepatotoxicity. Drug control group and pre- and posttreated groups were administered 0.9 g/kg of Asparagus falcatus orally. Serum ALT, AST, ALP, liver GSH, antioxidant enzymes, GPx (glutathione peroxidase), GR (glutathione reductase), GST (glutathione-S-transferase), and liver/serum malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were estimated. Liver damage was also assessed histopathologically. The effect of the plant extract was compared with N-acetyl cysteine.

Results: Acetaminophen produced liver damage, as manifested by a significant rise (P <. 001, one-way ANOVA) in serum ALT, AST, and ALP, and a reduction (P <. 001) in the liver reduced glutathione (GSH) as compared to respective controls. All enzyme activities and liver GSH were significantly improved in Asparagus-treated mice, with pretreatment providing better results than posttreatment (P <. 05). Histopathologically, mice pretreated with Asparagus showed no liver necrosis. A significant improvement was observed in antioxidant enzyme activities of GPx, GR, and GST in the Asparagus pretreated group (P <. 05). Mice posttreated with Asparagus showed a significant reduction in MDA formation (P <. 05).

Conclusion: These results suggest that the feeding regimen with Asparagus extract inhibited the progression of hepatic injury induced by acetaminophen.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / toxicity*
  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology
  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Asparagus Plant*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Acetaminophen
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Acetylcysteine