CHAPTER ONE



Lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities play a major role in the development and progression of coronary artery diseases. Low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterols have been identified as independent coronary risk factors (Rodrigue et al., 2010). High level of blood cholesterol is responsible for circulatory system disorder. Increase level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) is alarming for cardiovascular diseases and their risk is increased many times (Harman et al., 2011).

In developing countries, the occurrence of heart diseases increases rapidly (Nordestgard et al., 2010). Medical studies show that about 70% of adults over 50 years old suffer atherosclerosis. (Sherien and Azza, 2009). A large number of synthetic hypolipidemic drugs are available in market. Long term use of these drugs cause serious side effects, and are costly.

A medicinal plant is any plant which in one or more of its organ, contains substance that can be used for therapeutic purpose or which is a precursor for synthesis of useful drugs (Sivakumar et al., 2007). Plant contains a large number of bioactive phytochemicals that are responsible for pharmacological action of plants and used for development of drugs. Many

medicinal plants have shown their antilipidemic effect and proved their efficacy in cardiovascular diseases (Nordestgard et al., 2010; Wang, 1999).

One of such plants used very often in the management of the disease by the traditional medicine practitioners of Eastern Nigeria is Desmodium velutium, a perennial plant erect or semi-erect shrub or sub-shrub up to 3m light. It is widely distributed in subtropical Asia and tropical Africa. (Amowi and Azode, 2012).

Extracts of Desmodium velutium are used traditionally in some disease conditions particularly aphrodisiac and headache. Hence, Desomdium velutium may be a source of a pharmacological active agent useful in the treatment of aches, pains and diarrhoea. In Ghana, native doctors mix the root of Desmodium lasincarpum with some hot peppers and use it as enema to cure blood in urine. In Eastern States of Nigeria, the plant locally known as “Ikeagwuani”. (Onyegbule et al., 2012). In these present studies, I investigated the antilipidemic activity of the water (H2O) extract of Desmodium velutinum Leaves on albino wistar rats.

Bio Chem

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