Objectives: Fluoride is a serious health hazard across several nations, and chronic intake of fluoride deranges the carbohydrate, lipid and antioxidant metabolism in general. As there are limited remedial measures to prevent fluorosis, we investigated the role of tamarind leaf as a food supplement in restoration of carbohydrate, lipid and antioxidant metabolism in fluoride-exposed albino rats.
Methods: Albino rats were exposed to fluoride (100 ppm sodium fluoride) through drinking water and fed diet supplemented with tamarind leaf powder (2.5, 5 and 10 g %) for 4 weeks. Carbohydrate, lipid and antioxidant profiles were investigated in both controls and fluoride-exposed animals.
Results: While 4-week exposure to fluoride elevated plasma glucose and lipid profiles, simulating diabetic and hyperlipidaemic conditions, the antioxidant defence mechanisms of fluoride-exposed rats were compromised, with elevation and decline in lipid peroxidation and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, respectively. When the diet was supplemented with tender tamarind leaves (used in southern India as a replacement for tamarind or other sour food ingredients), significant improvements in carbohydrate and lipid profiles occurred as evidenced by decreased plasma glucose and lipid levels, lipid peroxidation, increased hepatic glycogen content, hexokinase activity and cholesterol excretion, with simultaneous improvement in antioxidant profiles of both hepatic and renal tissues.
Conclusions: These findings are significant in view of the need for cost-effective approaches to tackle fluorosis as an environmental hazard and use of food supplements as ameliorative measures.