Anxiolytic Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Medjool Dates of Phoenix Dactylifera in Mice
Keywords:Anxiety, elevated zero mazes, Phoenix dactylifera, marbles burying, Medjool dates
Background: Anxiety is one of the most frequent psychiatric disorders, affecting 33.7% of the general population. However, the consumption of healthy diets has been found to help, at least in part, in the prevention and treatment of anxiety-like disorders.
Methods: In this study, the anxiety behaviors of mice subjected to chronic intake of low-and high doses of ethanolic extract of Medjool dates (Phoenix Dactylifera) were evaluated in comparison to the counterparts of control mice. The elevated zero maze (EZM) test and marbles burying test were used as models of choice for evaluating anxiety behaviors in these mice. In addition, aphytochemical analysis of major secondary metabolite groups was done.
Results: The findings of this study revealed that the ethanolic extract of dates is rich in flavonoids and steroids with known activity as anxiolytics, such as kaempherol. Mice received a low dose (300 mg/kg) of the extract exhibited lower anxiety in the EZM than the untreated mice (negative control), which was determined by a significant increase in the latency to the closed area, a significant decrease in the time spent in the closed area and a significant increase in the number of the entries to the open quadrants. The anxiolytic effect of low dose extract was comparable to that produced in positive control mice treated with diazepam (1.5 mg/kg, i.p) in all tested parameters. Data obtained from the marble burying test also showed a significant anxiolytic effect by low dose (300 mg/kg) of the extract as compared to untreated mice, which was manifested by significant decrease in the total number of buried marbles. The anxiolytic effect of low dose extract in the marbles burying test was comparable to that produced in counterparts of positive control mice treated with fluoxetine (5mg/kg, i.p). On the other hand, chronic intake of high doses (2583 mg/kg) of the extract did not cause any significant anxiolytic effect in the EZM and marbles burying tests.
Conclusions: Overall, these results indicate that regular intake of low dose of ethanolic extract of Medjool dates may help to prevent and manage anxiety disorders. However, further studies are recommended to elucidate the putative mechanism underlying the anxiolytic effect of these dates.
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