Nutritive Value and Quality of Sweet Basil Leaves in an Animal Model of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Document Type : Original Article


Nutrition and Food Science Department, Faculty of Home Economics, Al-Azhar University, Egypt


This study was carried out to identify the nutritive value of sweet basil leaves and investigate their effects as a functional food on CCl4-intoxicated rats previously fed on high fat diet as a novel nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) model. Fresh sweet basil leaves were chemically analyzed in order to determine their nutritive value. The biological experiment was conducted using thirty two male albino rats (Sprague Dawley strain) weighing 80 ± 5 g, which were divided into four groups including normal control group, untreated liver –injured group, while the other two groups were treated with 2 and 4% sweet basil leaves powder (SBLP), respectively. The curative trial lasted for 4 weeks. Results showed that protein, total fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, calcium, iron and tocopherols contents in 100 g of the used sample of fresh sweet basil leaves represent 6.4, 0.77, 0.89, 6.07, 14.23, 17.78 and 5% of the new DVs for adults, while vitamin C content was found to represent 17.8% and 21.36% of the new DVs for males and females (19-30 years), respectively. Thus, they are considered good source of calcium and iron and good/ excellent source of vitamin C. Results of the biological experiment showed that the developed NAFLD model characterized by overweight, liver enlargement and dysfunction along with oxidative stress, which was further confirmed by histological staining using H&E. Due to its known high antioxidant capacity, supplementation of basal diet with SBLP, especially at the high concentration, reduced the abnormalities noticed in liver tissue and alleviated the disorders associated with its dysfunction. Accordingly, the present study shows that sweet basil leaves are a good source of some health promotive nutrients, and recommends that they should be consumed regularly (about 2 tablespoons/day as shade dried leaves) and implicated in the dietary interventions directed to patients with NAFLD.