Berberine protects the liver and kidney against functional disorders and histological damages induced by ferrous sulfate.
Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2018 May ;21(5):476-482. PMID: 29922427
Objectives: Iron is an essential element for living organisms. Iron overload can have detrimental effects on health. This study pertains to the protective role of berberine against ferrous sulfate-induced hepatic and renal functional disorders and histological damages in rats.
Materials and Methods: The rats were divided into four groups (n=7): Sham, Ber (10 mg/kg/day for 14 days, by gavage), FS (ferrous sulfate, 30 mg/kg/day for 14 days, intraperitoneally), FS + Ber (ferrous sulfate, 30 mg/kg/day for 14 days; berberine, 10 mg/kg/day for 11 days from fourth day of ferrous sulfate injection). After 24 hr, blood, urine, and tissue samples were collected.
Results: Compared with sham and Ber groups, administration of ferrous sulfate resulted in liver and kidney dysfunction as evidenced by significantly higher levels of serum hepatic markers and bilirubin, and lower levels of serum albumin, total protein, triglyceride, cholesterol, and glucose, as well as lower creatinine clearance and higher fractional excretion of sodium. This was accompanied by increased malondialdehyde levels and histological damages. Berberine treatment significantly reversed the levels of serum hepatic markers, renal functional markers and lipid peroxidation marker in the FS + Ber group. Furthermore, it restored the levels of serum total protein, albumin, glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol with a decrease in bilirubin concentration in the blood. All these changes were corroborated by histological observations of the liver and kidney.
Conclusion: Berberine protects the liver and kidneys against ferrous sulfate-induced toxicity by reduction in lipid peroxidation and ability to chelate iron.