The Effect of Heavy Metal Contaminants in Some Herbal Cosmetics on Cardiovascular Risk Indices of Rabbits

Brown Holy *

Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Rivers State University, Npkolu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

N. I. Thompson

Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Rivers State University, Npkolu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

E. Adu Matthew

Department of Chemical Science (Biochemistry Unit), Faculty of Science, University of Delta, Agbor, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Cosmetics are ornamental products used in the improvement of the physical outlook of either the face or skin. These may be synthetic or natural depending on the source of production. Herbal cosmetics have gained prominence in our daily lives due to the belief that they are natural. Evidence has shown that they contain heavy metals which may alter biochemical parameters in the cause of usage. This study aims to evaluate the effects of heavy metals on the serum lipid profile and cardiovascular risk indices of rabbits.

Materials and Methods: Three herbal oil namely All things natural (Emi herbal oil), Kakiva (Kakiva herbal oil), and Amal (botanical herbal oil) as well as forty–eight rabbits were purchased from a market in an animal house in Port Harcourt respectively. The rabbits were exposed to the oil for 30, 60, and 90 days and sacrificed for blood samples. The lipid profile and cardiovascular risk indices were evaluated using standard methods. Data were analyzed using a statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) to compare means.

Results: There were no significant differences in the lipid profile and cardiovascular risk indices in 30 days. However, there was significantly higher total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein but lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol after exposure in 60 days and 90 days.

Conclusion: It is, therefore, pertinent to conclude that herbal cosmetics contain heavy metals which may alter the lipid profile and expose users to cardiovascular risk.

Keywords: Ornamental, natural, phytochemicals, cadmium, lipoprotein, Port Harcourt

How to Cite

Holy, Brown, N. I. Thompson, and E. Adu Matthew. 2023. “The Effect of Heavy Metal Contaminants in Some Herbal Cosmetics on Cardiovascular Risk Indices of Rabbits”. Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 25 (2):32-42.


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