Rooibos protects against nicotine induced vascular injury and oxidative stress. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Rooibos () protects against nicotineinduced vascular injury and oxidative stress in Wistar rats.
Cardiovasc J Afr. 2020 Feb 7 ;31:1-10. Epub 2020 Feb 7. PMID: 32031565
Michelle Smit-Van Schalkwyk
BACKGROUND: Rooibos () is an indigenous South African plant, traditionally used by the local population as a remedy against several ailments. More recently, rooibos was shown to exhibit potent antioxidant properties, attributed to its polyphenols. We assessed whether treatment with fermented rooibos (RF), unfermented rooibos (RUF) and melatonin (Mel), a well-documented antioxidant included for comparison, could counter the harmful vascular and pro-oxidant effects of nicotine.
METHODS: Vascular function, antioxidant enzyme activity and lipid peroxidation were assessed in male adult rats treated with nicotine (5 mg/kg body weight/day) and 2% RF, 2% RUF or 4% Mel co-administration. Nitric oxide (NO) production and cell viability were measured in nicotine-exposed rat aortic endothelial cells (AECs) pre-treated with RF (0.015 mg/ml).
RESULTS: Vascular studies showed that co-administration with RF or Mel exerted anti-contractile and pro-relaxation responses in aortic rings, and increased hepatic superoxide dismutase and catalase activity in nicotine-exposed animals. Co-treatment with Mel additionally decreased lipid peroxidation in nicotine-exposed rats. RUF exerted anti-contractile responses in aortic rings of nicotine-treated animals, while in nicotine-exposed AECs, RF pre-treatment increased intracellular NO levels.
CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, we have shown that rooibos co-treatment exerted beneficial vascular effects in nicotine-exposed rats, and that this was associated with increased antioxidant enzyme activity.