Green coffee methanolic extract and silymarin protect against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in albino male rats

BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Jan 7;21(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-03186-x.


Background: During the last few decades, patients worldwide have been interested in using alternative medicine in treating diseases to avoid the increased side effects of chemical medications. Green coffee is unroasted coffee seeds that have higher amounts of chlorogenic acid compared to roasted coffee. Green coffee was successfully used to protect against obesity, Alzheimer disease, high blood pressure and bacterial infection.

Methods: This study aimed to investigate the probable protective activity of the green coffee methanolic extract, silymarin and their combination on CCl4-induced liver toxicity in male rats. Thirty Sprague - Dawley male albino rats were divided into 5 groups; control negative (G1) just got the vehicle (olive oil) and the other four groups received CCl4 dissolved in olive oil through an intraperitoneal injection and were divided into untreated control positive group (G2), the third group (G3) was treated with green coffee methanolic extract, the fourth group (G4) was treated with silymarin, and the fifth group (G5) was treated with a combination of green coffee methanolic extract and silymarin.

Results: In the positive control group treated with CCl4 (G2), the CCl4-induced toxicity increased lipid peroxidation, IL-6, kidney function parameters, liver function enzymes, total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins, and decreased irisin, antioxidants, CYP450 and high-density lipoprotein levels. Hepatic tissues were also injured. However, treating the injured rats in G3, G4 and G5 significantly improved the altered parameters and hepatic tissues.

Conclusions: Green coffee methanolic extract, silymarin, and their combination succeeded in protecting the male rats against CCl4 hepatotoxicity due to their antioxidant activity. Effect of green coffee methanolic extract mixed with silymarin in G5 was more efficient than that of green coffee methanolic extract in G3 or silymarin in G4.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Green coffee; Hepatotoxicity; Irisin; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Methanol
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Silymarin / pharmacology*


  • Coffee
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Silymarin
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Methanol