Cardio Protective Activities Of N-Hexane Extract Of Desmodium Velutinum Stem On Albino Wister Rat

Cardio Protective Activities Of N-Hexane Extract Of Desmodium Velutinum Stem On Albino Wister Rat



This study evaluates the cardio protactive effect of N-hexane extract of Desmodium Velutinum stem on albino wister rat. Rats used in this study were grouped into four and each group was fed differentely. Rats in group one, three, and four wre fed with the aid of a syringe without needle with 6ml of the lipoprotein food mixture containing 3.6g of the cow’s brain twice a day for seven days. Rats on group two was fed with only grower’s mash and water for seven days; rats in group three was later administered orally 2ml of dissolved vasoprin drug once in a day for 3 days. Rats in group four were also administered orally 0.5ml of the liquid drug extract of Desmodium Velutinum stem once a day for 3 days. During these three (3) days, the rats were given grower’s mash and water. After the feeding period, the rate fed with the cow’s brain showed a significant increases in the activities of marker enzymes such as creatine kinase (CK), creatine kinase MB (CKMB),

Aspartatatranseaminase (AST), Alaninetransminase (ALT), and lactatedehydrogenase. This study shows that N-hexane extract of Desmodium Velutinum stem posses cardio protective effect on albino wister rats than the known drug (vasoprin) if only one can increase the dosage of the extract for a period of time.



The heart is a hollow muscular, cone-shaped organ, lying between the lungs in a block of tissue called the mediastinum (Khader, 2004). The heart begins beating some few weeks following conception and beats throughout life (Khader, 2004). It is also the strongest muscle in the human body and functions to maintain a constant circulation of blood throughout the body, it also acts as a pump and its action is composed of a series of events known as the cardiac cycle. The heart is composes of three layers of tissue which are; the pericardium, the myocardium and the Endocardium. The heart acts as a pump which drives blood into and through the arteries, but the right and the left side of the heart functions separately from one another some of the diseases associated with the cardiovascular system includes coronary heart diseases (CHD) which is the most common of heart diseases and it occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the heart narrow or harden from the build-up of plaque (Gina, 1996.),Ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease( CeVD),peripheral vascular disease, Heart Failure etc and some of the pharmacological treatment includes Angiotesin commonly prescribes includes Benazepril, Captopril, Moexipril, Beta Blockers which includes, Acebutolol, Betaxolol,etc.

The heart marker enzymes includes creatine kinasse(CK-MB)which is the enzyme used as the definitive serum marker for the diagnosis or exclusion of acute myocardial infarction (Andreas,2009).

Troponin 1 Rapid test which is a lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of cardiac Troponin 1(CTn1)and its complex in human serum or plasma at the level equal or higher than 1ng/ml. Myoglobin which is also designed for qualitative determination of myoglobin in human whole blood serum or plasma as an aid in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) and myoglobin is also a low molecular weight cytoplasm protein which is released into the blood stream when muscle cells are damaged and this protein is released into the blood stream more rapidly than any other myocardial marker and elevated levels can be detected as early as one (1) hour after the onset of AMI(Penttila,2002). Demodium velutinum has been suggested to have some therapeutic effect in the treatment of cardiovascular disorder and in the reducing of high cholesterol content in the body. Demodium Velutinum is one of the few shrubs species that has been identified as a well adapted to acid tropical soil and a good nutritive value(Schultze-Kraft, 2002).Every culture has relied on the variety of natural medicines found in healing plants for the therapeutic properties

(Armstrong,2004).Researchers find that food and their individual constituents perform similar fashion to modern drugs and sometimes better without the dreaded side effect. The leaves and young stems are rich in crude protein and mineral elements and can provide higher levels of some nutrient (Bakker, 1994). Natural plants have been valuable sources of mineral agent with proven potential of treating infectious diseases and with lesser side effects compared to the synthetic drug agents(Guyton, 2002).Hence potentially useful drugs can often be recognized from their relative importance and uses in folk medicine. Extract of Desmodium velutinum stem are used traditionally in some diseases condition particularly headache and may be a source of a pharmacological active agent useful in the treatment of aches and pain(Anowi,2012). This work aimed at investigating any hypocholesterolemic activity in the N-hexane extract of Desmodium Velutinum stem.



The Heart

The human heart is the size of fist. However, it works relentlessly from before birth to death. The heart being beating by 21 to 28 days after conception and beats throughout life. It is also the strongest muscle in the human ( Anaya 1996).The average heart beats about 100,000 times over a seventy year lifetime. With each beat, the heart pumps blood through the blood vessels or arteries to all parts of the body. It beats approximately 70 to 80 times a minute; this rate can double during exercise or at time of emotion.

General structure of the heart

The heart is composed of the three layers of tissues

The pericardium: This is the outer part that covers the heart and consist of two layers or sacs- the outer layer or fibrous pericardium is securely attached to the diaphragm, the outer coat of the great vessels and the posterior surface of the sternum and therefore maintains the heart in its position. Its fibrous nature prevents over distension of the heart. The inner layer the serous pericardium consist of two layers the outer or parietal layer lines the outer fibrous sac and the inner or visceral layer covers the heart muscle. The serous membrane secrets serous fluid into the space between the visceral and parental layers that allows smooth movement between the layers, when the heart beats.

Myocardium: This is the middle layer of the heart and is compose of specialized muscle tissue called the cardiac muscle, on which the circulation of blood depends. It varies in thickness, being thickest in the left ventricle, thinner in the right ventricle and thinnest in the artrium.

Endocardium: The inner linging of the heart is thin, smooth, glistening membrane consisting of flattened epithelial cells which is continuous with the valves and with the lining of the blood vessels.

Interior of the heart: The heart is divided into a right and left side by a muscular partition called as the septum. The two sides of the heart have no communication with each other. Each side is sub-divided into an upper and lower chamber, the upper chamber on each side is called the auricle or atrium and is the receiving chamber on each side is called the ventricle and is the discharging chamber from which the blood is driven into the arteries.

Each atrium communicates with the ventricles below it on the same side of the heart through an opening, guarded by a valve called artrio-velntricular valve. The valve separating the right atrium from the right ventricle is known as the right artrio-ventricular valve (tricuspid valve) and is made up of three flaps or cusps. Similarly, the valve separating the left atrium from the left ventricle is called left artrio-ventriclar valve (mitral Valve) and is composed of two flaps of cusps.

Functions of the heart

The main function of heart is to maintain a constant circulation of blood throughout the body and also to act as a pump and its action is to compose of a series of events known as the cardiac cycle.

Cardiovascular system of the heart

The blood from the heart travels from the left side of the heart and is rich in oxygen. It travels via arteries of ever-decreasing size till it reaches the narrowest of arteries called capillaries in all the organs and parts of the body and having delivered its oxygen and nutrients and having collected waste products, blood is brought back to the right side of the heart through a system of progressively enlarging vein called circulating system or cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular system literally means cardio or heart and vascular or a system or network of blood vessels (American heart Association, 2009).

2.0.1 Cardiovascular Disorder

Cardiovascular disorders (CVD);this includes dysfunctional conditions of the heart, arteries ,and veins that supply oxygen to vital life-sustaining areas of the brain, the heart itself, and other vital organs. if oxygen doesn’t arrive the tissue or organ will die. Ischemic heart disorder is the technical term for obstruction of blood flow to the heart. In general this results because excess fat or plaque deposits are narrowing the veins that supply oxygenated blood to the heart(Matyal,2008). Excess buildup of fat or plaque is respectively term arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.

2.0.2 Diseases associated with cardiovascular system are

  1. Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD) is the most common form of heart disease. It occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the heart narrow or harden from the build-up of plaque. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol and other substances founding the blood(WU,2002). This plaque build-up is known as atherosclerosis and the site of the plaque determines the type of heart disorder such as.
  2. Coronary artery disease; this is the build-up of plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the heart.
  3. Peripheral artery disease, This is the build- up of plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the arms and legs.
  4. Carotid artery diseases; This is the build-up of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
  5. Coronary heart disease can be caused due to risk factors like high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, tobacco use, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, diabetes advancing age (Nissen, 2005).
  6.  Ischemic heart disease. It refers to problems with the circulation of blood to the heart muscle (Armstrong, 2004). A partial blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries can result in a lack of enough oxygenated blood(ischemia)and the symptoms includes – Angina (chest pain) and dyspnea(shortness of breath). A complete blockage of an artery causes necrosis (damage to the tissues) or a myocardial infarction commonly known as heart attack.
  7.  Peripheral vascular disease. It affects the circulation primarily in the legs, patients with this diseases typically complain of pain in their calves especially when walking. Peripheral heart diseases occur when fat and cholesterol deposit or plaque buildup in the peripheral arteries which are the blood vessels outside the heart. This build up narrows the artery walls, restricting the amount of blood flows to the body’s tissues. Depending on the arteries, where the blockage occurs, this can lead to stroke, heart attack .etc.
  8.  Heart failure; This occurs when the pumping action of the heart cannot provide enough blood to the rest of the body as it is needed and it can be as a result of damage to the heart muscle for example for a heart attack or from excessive consumption of alcohol or because of a heart muscle disease also called cardiomyopathy and the symptom includes shortness of breath and swelling of the legs.
  9. Rheumatic heart disorder; this diseases begins with a bacterial infection in childhood, affecting joints and heart valves. Then the heart problems appear many years later. Often the valves have to be replaced by an operation.

2.0.3 Some of the Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disorder

The most important behavioral risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol (Gastaldelli, 2010). Behavioral risk factors are responsible for about 80% of

coronary heart disease and cerbrovascular disease. The effects of unhealthy diet and physical inactivity may show up in individuals as raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, raised blood lipids and overweight and obesity. These intermediate risks factors can be measured in primary care facilities and indicate an increases risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, heart failure and other complications.

Cessation of tobacco use, reduction of salt in the diet, consuming fruit and vegetables ,regular physical activity and avoiding harmful use of alcohol have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The cardiovascular disorder can also be reduced by preventing or treating hypertension, diabetes and raised blood pressure

Causes of Cardiovascular Disorders

Your age: Men over 45 and women over 55 are more likely to develop heart disease than their younger counterparts. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that more than 83 percent of people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older. The older you get, the more likely you are to have damaged arteries and/or a weakened heart muscle. Most people have plaque buildup in the arteries by the time they reach their 70s.

Your sex: Overall, more men have heart attacks than women do, and they experience them earlier in life, too. While a woman’s risk of dying from heart disease increases after menopause, it’s still lower than a man’s.

Your family history: If people in your family have heart disease— especially close or immediate relatives, your risk of developing it increases. If a parent or sibling developed heart disease at an early age (before age 55 for men, or before age 65 for women), your risk is even higher. Developing heart disease isn’t necessarily in your DNA, however. Lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, etc.) tend to be passed down from generation to generation, which means that some portion of this risk is controllable.

Your race: Somewhat related to family history, your race can also predetermine part of your risk of heart disease. African Americans, American Indians, Mexican Americans, and native Hawaiians are more likely to have heart disease than Caucasians, but this is partly due to other risk factors that these populations tend to experience, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Your body type: Whether or not you become overweight or obese is mostly within your control, but you cannot control your weight distribution, which refers to where your body stores fat. For years, experts warned that people who tend to carry excess weight in their belly area (known as “apple” shapes) are at a greater risk of several health problems, including heart disease, while “pear” shaped bodies that store more fat in the lower body don’t have the same risk

Smoking: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease and heart attack. People who smoke are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers, according to the AHA. Smoking damages the walls of your arteries, constricts blood vessels, and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol levels (Gastaldelli,2010).

Your diet: A diet that’s high in saturated fat, trans sugar, sodium, added sugars, cholesterol can raise your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and increase your risk of heart disease. Some research shows that diets too high in animal-based foods (meat and high-fat dairy products) and too low in plant-based foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts can lead to heart disease, too.

Activity level: If you’re inactive, you’re almost twice as likely to develop heart disease as people who get moving on a regular basis, reports the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Regular exercise naturally decreases the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in your blood while increasing your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also lowers blood pressure and helps with blood sugar control and exercise strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system so that it is more efficient

Weight: The more excess body fat you have, the greater your risk of heart disease and heart attack—even if you have no other risk factors. Being overweight increases your blood LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowers HDL (good) cholesterol, and exacerbates other heart disease risks like diabetes and high blood pressure. Plus, carrying excess weight simply puts additional strain on the heart, forcing it to work harder. Calculating your body mass index (BMI) is one way to determine if you are overweight.

Stress: Experts aren’t sure why people with chronic stress have higher rates of heart disease, but they believe that stress (and the hormones it releases) may damage the arteries over time and make blood clots more likely to form. Just one stressful episode can elevate the heart rate and blood pressure for a short period, and even lead to a heart attack

Drinking habits: People who drink moderately (defined as an average of one drink day for women and two drinks daily for men) have a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers. Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and triglycerides, as well as contribute to obesity, irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy, alcoholism, heart failure, cancer, stroke and other diseases.

High blood pressure (hypertension): Uncontrolled blood pressure can increase the workload of your heart, as well as harden and thicken the arteries, making it harder for blood to pass through. According to the AHA, high blood pressure coupled with other risk factors like obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes increases the risk of heart attack and stroke several times over. In many cases, high blood pressure can be controlled through lifestyle changes and medications.

High cholesterol: As cholesterol levels rise, so does your risk for cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol (especially high levels of LDL can lead to artery blockage and damage, which contributes to heart disease and can lead to a heart attack.

Type 2 diabetes: People who have type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to experience heart disease or stroke—even if it is well managed. 65% of people with diabetes die of some form of cardiovascular disease.

2.1.1 Symptoms Of Cardiovascular Disorder:

  • Chest pain(angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness
  • Weakness or coldness in your legs or arms
  • A fluttering in your chest
  • A racing heartbeat
  • A slow heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting or near fainting
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles or feet
  • Easily tiring during exercise or activity
  • Fever and sudden severe headaches
  • Dry or persistent cough
  • Skin rashes or un usual spots
  • Loss of vision
  • Bluing of the lips
  • Nausea
  • Confusion, lack of balance or difficulty talking


Pharmacological Treatment of Cardiovascular Disorders


Vasoprin (USAN), also known as acetylsalicylic acid is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever and as an anti-inflammatory medication.

Vasoprin also has an antiplatelet effect by inhibiting the production of thromboxane,which under normal circumstance binds platelet molecular together to repair damaged blood vessels. This is why vasoprin is used in a long-term, low does to prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clot formation in people at high risk for developing blood clots. it has been established that low doses of vasoprin may be given immediately after a heart attack to reduce the risk of another heart attack or of the death of cardiac tissue. Vasoprin, an anti thrombotic agent is widely used in the prophylaxis of angina and myocardial infarction.

The main undesirable side effect of vasoprin are gastrointestinal ulcers, stomach bleeding, and tinnitus, especially in high dose.

Beta-Blocker Drugs

Beta blockers are the most commonly used drugs in medicine. They have been proven useful in treating a host of medical condition such as congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias especially atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction (heart attacks) hypertropic cardiomyopathy etc. These drugs block the effect of adrenaline on the cardiovascular system which results in a slowing of the heart rate and a reduction of stress on the heart and the arteries.

Cardio selective beta blocker side effect; the side effect of beta blockers are related mainly to their adrenaline blocking effects .side effect can often be managed by a careful choice of which beta blocker is selected(Herbert, 2004).the effects includes

  • Worsening of symptoms in people with asthenia
  • Worsening of symptom in people with peripheral artery disease
  • Depression
  • Fatigue.

Medicinal Plants

Medicinal plants are plants which have a recognizes medicinal use and also contain substances that can be used for therapeutic purposes or which are precursors for the synthesis of useful drugs(Abayomi, 2008) .They range from plants which are used in the production of mainstream pharmaceutical products to plant used in herbal medicine preparations(Andrew,2005). Medicinal plants can be growing in numerous setting all over the world.

Description of Desmodium Velutinum

Desmodiun velutinum is an erect shrub, usually 100-300cm tall. Branches often dark red, young parts densely hairy, rootstock thickened; leaves 1-foliolate,sometimes mixed with 3-foliolate leaves, stipules narrowly triangular,2-15mm long, leaflets very variable in size and shape,4-20cmx2.5-13cm,chartaceous to coriaceous, upper surface continuously appresses-pubescent, lower surface densely velutinous, lateral veins 8-10,extending to the margin, inflorescence terminal and auxiliary, racemose or paniculate, up to 20cm long ,flowers in clusters of 2-5,calyx 4-lobed, densely hairy , corolla pink ,purple ,blue or reddish-violent, androecium diadelphous; pod (1-) 1.6-2.5cmx2.2-3.5mm,(3-)5-7- jointed, articles broadly ablong, densely covered with hairs ,seeds very broadly or depressed ovate,1.3-1.6mmx1.8-2.5mm. Desmodium velutinum belong to the family fabaceae. The plant is called Ikeagwani and can be use to control of non – specific diarrhea.

Figure 1: Desmodium Velutinum-Typical Appearance.


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