This study aimed at investigating the efficacy of vitamins (C and E), selenium and silymarin (an antioxidant complex from Silybum marianum) supplementation in reducing toxic effects of ethanol on liver weight and some blood parameters. Sixty male rabbits, individually housed in steel cages, were randomly divided into three groups. The first was a control group, the second received balanced diet and daily 20% (v/ v) ethyl alcohol in their drinking water, the third received the same diet and 20% (v/v) ethanol in their drinking water and treated with vitamin C (1 mg/100 g body weight, BW), vitamin E (1 mg/100 g BW), selenium (0.01 mg/ 100 g BW) and silymarin (1 mg/100 g body weight) by gastric tube daily. Five animals per group were slaughtered every two weeks and liver and blood samples were taken after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of treatment. Ethanol decreased body weight of rabbits and induced hepatomegally and apoptotic DNA fragmentation in hepatocytes. Chronic alcohol consumption induced significant increases in serum glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol levels whereas serum total protein content decreased. Significant increases in serum ALT, AST, ALP and LDH activities were observed in ethanol-treated rabbits. The treatment of alcohol-abused animals with vitamins (C and E), selenium and silymarin enhanced significant improvement in the biochemical, physiological and molecular aspects indicating their protective effects against alcohol toxicity.
Rabbits; alcohol toxicity; vitamin C; vitamin E; selenium; silymarin