Fenugreek seeds reduce aluminum toxicity associated with renal failure in rats

Nutr Res Pract. 2013 Dec;7(6):466-74. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2013.7.6.466. Epub 2013 Nov 29.


Despite the reports on safety concerns regarding the relationship between aluminum salts and neurological and bone disease, many countries continue to use aluminum as phosphate binders among patients with renal failure. In search for a diet supplement that could reduce aluminum toxicity related to renal failure, we carried out this prospective animal study in which the fenugreek seeds were assessed for their effects on rats nephrotoxicity induced by aluminum chloride (AlCl3). Oral AlCl3 administration during 5 months (500 mg/kg bw i.g for one month then 1600 ppm via drinking water) led to plasma biochemical changes, an inhibition of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), a decrease of total antioxidant status (TAS), and an induction of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the blood and brain, in addition to kidney atrophy and morphological alterations at the level of Bowman's capsule, the glomerulus and different sorts of tubules, reminiscent of some known kidney disease. The treatment with the whole fenugreek seed powder (FSP) (5% in the diet) during the last 2 months showed its effectiveness in restoring normal plasma values of urea, creatinine, ALP and glucose, as well as re-increasing the TAS, inhibiting LPO and alleviating histopathological changes in the injured kidneys. This study highlights the induced nephrotoxicicity, as well as the related toxicity in the brain and bone, by chronic oral ingestion of the aluminum salts. However, the maintenance of a diet supplemented with fenugreek seeds could offer protection for the kidney, bone and brain, at the same time.

Keywords: Aluminum; Trigonella foenum-graecum; rat; renal insufficiency.