Background of the Study
Hypercholesterolemia, which is a specific type of hyperlipidemia and characterized by excessively high plasma cholesterol level, is a strong risk contributor for many cardiovascular diseases, particularly atherosclerosis (Stapleton et al., 2010). The by-products of cholesterol cause the stiffening of the arteries by forming a thick tough deposit on their inner walls, leading to the starvation of the heart with blood by making the flow of blood stop entirely (Thomas et al., 2007). As a result of unfavorable dietary habits and a relatively sedentary lifestyle over the last few decades, cases of lifestyle-related disorders including hyperlipidemia, and ...view middle of the document...
Peperomia pellucida (L.) HBK, locally known in the Philippines as Pansit-pansitan, is an annual, shallow-rooted tropical herb belonging to the family Piperaceae, which usually grows in clumps and reaches about 40 cm in height (Majumder, 2011). It is widely distributed in various shaded, damp habitats in many Asian and South American countries, and has a broad range of traditional uses. Some of its uses include the treatment of abdominal pain, abscesses, boils, fatigue, colic, headache, renal disorders, acne, and joint pain (Pulak et al., 2011). In northeastern Brazil, the plant is used as a hypocholesterolemic agent. Despite these various claims, there are very few scientific studies concerning the medicinal properties of Peperomia pellucida, particularly its cholesterol-lowering property.
Therefore, given the ethnomedicinal use of this plant and its accessibility in the Philippines, along with the need in less toxic and more affordable medicine to combat hypercholesterolemia, Peperomia pellucida is indeed an ideal plant to be investigated.
Statement of the Problem
Does the crude methanolic extract of Peperomia pellucida (L.) HBK have a significant effect on the different plasma lipid parameters of diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats (Rattus norvegicus)?
Objectives of the Study
This study is designed to investigate the potential role of Peperomia pellucida as an antihypercholesterolemic agent by determining its lowering effect on the plasma lipid parameters after inducing hypercholesterolemia in rats (Rattus norvegicus).
Specifically, it aims to:
(1) measure the effect of P. pellucida extract on total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats;
(2) determine the dosage of P. pellucida (200, 400, and 800 mg/kg bwt) at which the highest antihypercholesterolemic activity is recorded; and
(3) assess the effectiveness of P. pellucida as compared to Lipitor, which is one of the standard treatments in treating hypercholesterolemia.
Beltran-Benjamin, K. S., Co, E. L., Gaspi, S. A., Matibag, J. L., & Sia Su G. L. (2013). Enzyme Activity and Histopathology of Rat Liver Treated with Crude Methanolic Extract of Pepperomia pellucida (L.) HBK. Journal of Biological Sciences, 13: 183-195.
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