The therapeutic use and toxicological implication of plant materials is dependent upon the different phytochemicals present and thus safety of its consumption by animals and human. Aqueous cocoa powder extract was subjected to phytochemical screening and toxicological (acute and chronic) studies using female albino rats. Acute toxicity study was done using twenty five rats (divided into five groups of five rats each). Chronic toxicity study was done using different doses (200mg/kg, 300mg/kg, 500mg/kg, and 1000mg/kg) of aqueous cocoa powder extract administered orally to forty female albino rats (divided into five groups of eight rats each) continuously for 40 days while the control group was given rat chow and water only. LD50 was determined after oral administration of a single dose of the extract while plasma urea; creatinine; aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase activities were measured to determine nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic effect of the extract. The result of the phytochemical screening showed that the extract is abundantly rich in flavonoids, alkaloids and terpenoids; appreciably rich in cardiac glycoside, anthraquinone glycoside, tannin, and phenol; rich in saponin but lack cardenolide. The LD50 value was found to be above 5000mg/kg and the plasma urea, creatinine, aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase activities were found to be within normal range, though with mixed level of significance among the administered doses in comparison to the controls. Short and long term administration of aqueous cocoa powder extract is thus non-toxic as it may not potentiate renal and hepatic toxicity and may be considered safe for animal consumption.
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