Sodium benzoate, a food preservative, induces anxiety and motor impairment in rats

Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2014 Jan;19(1):24-8.


Objective: To investigate the behavioral characteristics, including anxiety and motor impairment, in sodium benzoate (NaB) treated rats.

Methods: The study was carried out between July and September 2012 in the Laboratory Animal Center of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. The rats were divided into 2 groups receiving distilled water and NaB (200mg/kg/day). All the animals received daily gavages for 4 weeks. At the end of the fourth week, anxiety, and motor function were assessed in elevated plus maze and rotarod test.

Results: According to the results, NaB-treated rats spent less time in the open arm and had fewer entrances to the open arms in comparison with the control group (p<0.04). Also, the performance of the NaB-treated rats in fixed and accelerating speed rotarods was impaired, and the riding time (endurance) was lower than the control group (p<0.01).

Conclusion: The performance of the NaB-treated rats was impaired in the elevated plus maze, an indicator of anxiety. Their riding time in fixed and accelerating speed rotarods was decreased, indicating motor impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / chemically induced*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Food Preservatives / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Movement Disorders / etiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rotarod Performance Test
  • Sodium Benzoate / toxicity*


  • Food Preservatives
  • Sodium Benzoate