The present study was carried out to investigate the protective effect of L-ascorbic acid (A.A.), against mercury toxicity in albino rats. Twenty four males were divided into three groups. The control was fed a basic diet, whereas the other two groups were treated either by Hg alone (1g HgCl2/Kg food) or Hg-ascorbic acid (1g HgCl2/Kg food + 5% ascorbic acid), respectively, for 35 consecutive days. The following serum parameters were estimated; alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT), alanine aminotransferase (ALAT), urea, creatinine, uric acid, triglicerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
The present data obtained found that a significant decrease in serum ALP activity in mercury treated group, accompanied by a significant increase in serum ASAT. Furthermore, serum urea concentration was significantly higher in the mercury group compared to the control. However, the concentration of urea and the activity of ALP and ASAT of the Hg+ascorbic acid group were not statistically different from the control. Moreover, no significant variations were recorded concerning ASAT, creatinine and uric acid. The lipid profile; triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were not significantly varied between the three groups, despite the observed elevated concentration of triglycerides in Hg+ascorbic acid group. In conclusion, ascorbic acid may partially help in the protection against mercury intoxication and it could also be considered a safe nutritional source.
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated protective effect of l-ascorbic acid mercury detoxication and physiological aspects and The paper’s primary contribution is finding that ascorbic acid may partially help in the protection against mercury intoxication and it could also be considered a safe nutritional source.
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