Unripe Carica papaya and its effect on some antioxidant enzymes and factors associated with vascular disease in models


Idiakheua O. Dennis, Iyawe O. Hanson

Background: Carica papaya is a member of the Caricaceae family. The ripe fruits are juicy and rich in nutrients. The unripe fruits are seldom consumed. There are several unverified claims of traditional usage of unripe C. papaya in phytotherapy. Ripe papaya is used to improve digestive and abdominal disorders, treat dyspepsia, hyperacidity, dysentery, and constipation. Extracts of unripe C. papaya contain considerable phytochemicals and it is applied to treat diuresis or can be used as a mild laxative and to stimulate lactation. Information on the consumption of raw unripe papaya is observed to be scarce. Objectives: The thrust of this study was to examine the possible outcome of consuming mature and unripe C. papaya on some antioxidant enzymes and lipid profiles in rats. To conduct this study, a 4 × 6 experiment was designed, comprising four groups of six rats per group. Control (Group A) was fed with standard feed. Group B received standard feed with unpeeled blend of C. papaya. Group C received standard feed with peeled blend of C. papaya, while Group D was given standard feed with boiled and unpeeled blend of C. papaya. The feed–papaya mix ratio was 80:20 in all cases. Feeding took 4-week duration, after which blood samples were harvested and processed for analysis. Materials and Methods: Nutrient composition of feed blends was done with Association of Official’s Analytical Chemists methods. Serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) were determined with standard assay kits. Serum catalase activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, glutathione reductase (GR), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were assayed using standard procedures. Results: Weight gains were observed among all groups. There was significant (P < 0.05) TC reduction among test animals compared to control. Both HDL and low-density lipoprotein were reduced (P < 0.05) in comparison to their controls. There were significant (P < 0.05) variations among the antioxidant enzymes under the study. Conclusion: The import of these data is to the effect that matured and unripe C. papaya has the potential to reduce some risk factors in vascular disease in rats and challenge antioxidant enzymes according to their respective processing method.