• cabbage;
  • safety;
  • toxicity

Abstract:  The present study has carried out safety evaluations on an ethanolic extract of red cabbage (RC) leaves in terms of acute and subchronic oral toxicity tests as per Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines in Swiss albino mice. Single-dose administration of RC extract (1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, or 5000 mg/kg body weight) to Swiss albino mice did not manifest toxicity or any significant adverse behavioral alterations. Chronic administration of RC extract (1000, 2000, and 3000 mg/kg body weight) for 28 d also did not register any significant alterations in fluid intake, organ weights, plasma lipid profile, plasma creatine kinase-MB, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, creatinine, electrolytes, and calcium levels, and the total blood count showed a nonsignificant change. However, significant reduction in body-weight gain, food intake, red blood cell count, and hemoglobin content along with higher alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, and urea levels was observed in mice treated with 3000 mg/kg body weight for 28 d. Since there was no mortality up to a dose of 5000 mg/kg body weight, 50% lethal dose (LD50) could not be determined, and hence, it can be assumed that, LD50 of RC extract is >5000 mg/kg. No observable adverse effect level dose of the RC extract was found to be 2000 mg/kg body weight. Hence, consumption of RC extract for various medicinal purposes is safe.

Practical Application:  RC is a popularly consumed foodstuff that has been ubiquitously reported to exert medicinal properties. It is mandatory to understand the highest permissible consumption limit of any food supplement to avoid toxicity. This study establishes the safe dose of RC. These results can be of relevance for the scientific fraternity as well as laymen who consume this vegetable or its phytochemical preparation.