Changes in Plasma IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α and Haematocrit in the Traditional Treatment of Anaemia in HBsAg Seropositive Patients with Raw Liquid Content of Malabar Spinach (Basella alba)
Background and Aim: Amunututu- Malabar Spinach (Basella alba) is one of the vegetable plants used in the traditional treatment of anemia in Saki-West Local Government Area of Nigeria due to its haematopoetic phytochemical and phytonutrient constituents. Hepatitis B surface antigen in the plasma is an indication of inflammation of the liver caused by Hepatitis B virus infection. This work was designed to determine possible anti-anaemic and antiinflammatory nutritional values of raw liquid content of Basella alba. Methods: Thirty-seven (37; Female-16; Male-21; aged 14- 76 years) anaemic patients receiving treatments in eleven herbal homes in Saki-West Local Government area - Nigeria with a haematocrit of 19.0 ± 2.0% were initially recruited. Thirteen (13; Female – 3; Male- 10) anaemic mono-infected HBsAg seropositive patients were studied. Twenty (20; Feale-9; Male- 11) volunteers of the thirty-seven anaemic patients not infected with any of Plasmodium, HBV, HCV, HIV and M. tuberculosis were also studied. 50 (Female-25; Male-25) age matched volunteers who were neither anaemic nor infected with any of Plasmodium, HCV, HIV, HBV and M. tuberculosis were studied as control. Plasma IL-6, IL-10. TNF-α, HBV, HCV and HIV were determined by ELISA technique while identification of M. tuberculosis and Plasmodium spp., was carried out by fluorescence and Geimsha-Thick film microscopy. Results: There was a significant increase in TNF-α and a significant decrease in Haematocrit, IL-6 and IL-10 in mono-infected HBsAg seropositive anaemic patients before the administration of raw liquid extract of Basella alba compared with normal control subjects (p<0.05). After the administration of raw liquid extract of Malabar Spinach there was a significant decrease in TNF-α and a significant increase in Haematocrit, IL-6 and IL-10 in these patients when compared with the value before the supplementation (p<0.05). There was also a significant increase in the value of haematocrit in mono-infected HBsAg seropositive anaemic patients and anemic patient without infectious agents when values before supplementation was compared with the results obtained after the administration of raw liquid extract of Basella alba (p<0.05). Conclusion: Basella alba has possible haemopoetic and anti-inflammatory bioactivities.