Safflower oil: an integrated assessment of phytochemistry, antiulcerogenic activity, and rodent and environmental toxicity

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Toma, Walber
Guimarães, Luciana Lopes [UNIFESP]
Brito, Alba R.m.s.
Santos, Aldo R.
Cortez, Fernando S.
Pusceddu, Fábio H.
Cesar, Augusto [UNIFESP]
Silveira Junior, Landulfo
Pacheco, Marcos T.t.
Pereira, Camilo Dias Seabra [UNIFESP]
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Gastric ulcers are a significant medical problem and the development of complications lead to significant mortality rates worldwide. In Brazil, Carthamus tinctorius L., Asteraceae, seeds essential oil, the safflower oil, is currently used as a thermogenic compound and as treatment for problems related to the cardiovascular system. In this study, by Raman spectroscopy, it was shown that oleic and linoleic acids are the compounds present in higher concentrations in the safflower oil. We demonstrated that safflower oil (750 mg/kg, p.o.) decrease the ulcerogenic lesions in mice after the administration of hydrochloric acid-ethanol. The gastric ulcers induced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in mice treated with cholinomimetics were treated with four different doses of safflower oil, of which, the dose of 187.5 mg/kg (p.o.) showed significant antiulcerogenic properties (**p < 0.01). Moreover, the safflower oil at doses of 187.5 mg/kg (i.d.) increased the pH levels, gastric volume (**p < 0.01) and gastric mucus production (***p < 0.001), and decreased the total gastric acid secretion (***p < 0.001). The acute toxicity tests showed that safflower oil (5.000 mg/kg, p.o.) had no effect on mortality or any other physiological parameter. Ecotoxicological tests performed using Daphnia similis showed an EC50 at 223.17 mg/l, and therefore safflower oil can be considered “non-toxic” based on the directive 93/67/EEC on risk assessment for new notified substances by European legislation. These results indicate that the antiulcer activity of Safflower oil may be due to cytoprotective effects, which serve as support for new scientific studies related to this pathology.
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia, v. 24, n. 5, p. 538-544, 2014.