Document Type : Research Paper
school of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Medicago sativa (alfalfa) has a long history of traditional use. Several studies indicate that the ingestion of M. sativa reduces cholesterol absorption and atherosclerotic plaque formation in animals and has been reported to be beneficial in the treatment of hemorrhage, as a tonic after blood loss and during anemia. Because of hypercholesterolemia is an important risk factor for heart diseases and anemia as a common problem in developing country, this study was designed to evaluate the effect of alfalfa extract on lipid profile and iron indices in healthy volounteers. 19 volunteers (all male) with an average age of 35 elected for a randomized double blind study. These volunteers divided into two groups for drug (9 males) and placebo (10 persons). The capsules 250 mg were taken three times a day for two months. Blood samples were collected at baseline, one month and two months after taking the capsules. Ferritin, TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity), Iron, CBC (Complete Blood Count), cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL and HDL were determined by laboratory testing standards. After two months in treated group, serum iron showed more increase and TIBC factor decreased more in comparison with control group and their LDL and triglyceride decreased and HDL increased but was not statistically significant. Alfalfa extract, with 750 mg/day can help decreasing LDL and triglyceride and increasing HDL, and maybe increasing serum iron as an adjunctive for hypercholetrolemia and anemia treatment.