The hypocholesterolemic and antioxidant activities of various extracts (water, methanol, ethyl acetate, hexane, dichloro-methane) of fenugreek seeds were investigated in cholesterol-fed rats. Only the ethyl acetate extract reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) compared with those of rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet (HCD). Furthermore, the content of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in liver, heart and kidney decreased significantly after oral administration of the ethyl acetate extract, compared with those of HCD-fed rats. The phenolic and flavonoïd contents were highest in the methanol and the ethyl acetate extracts. These results showed that the ethyl acetate extract of the fenugreek seeds had a significant hypocholesterolemic effect and antioxidant activity in cholesterol-fed rats, whether this is partly due to the presence of flavonoïds in the extract needs further study.
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