Tincture of Crataegus (TCR) is an antiatherogenic drug consisting of flavonoids, some saponins, and cardioactive amines. It is an alcoholic extract of the berries of the tree Crataegus oxyacantha, commonly called the hawthorn. TCR at a dosage of 0.5ml/100g body weight/day for 6 weeks could prevent the increase in lipid peroxidation observed in rats with experimentally induced atherosclerosis. TCR also prevented the decrease in glutathione and α-tocopherol content of the liver, aorta, and heart. The decreased activities of some antioxidant enzymes in liver, aorta, and heart tissues were also maintained at normal levels by the drug. TCR also prevented the copper ion-induced oxidation of low-density and very-low-density lipoproteins in vitro. The antiatherogenic effect of TCR appears to be related to its antioxidant property. It is possible that the constituents of TCR act synergistically to ameliorate the oxidative stress during atherogenesis.
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