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Introduction: There has been a dramatic increase in the use of herbal supplements. Some herbal products are metabolized by cytochrome P 450 (CYP) which can cause herb -drug interactions with the medications metabolized by that same CYP. This study aimed to investigate the inhibitory effect of 6 Thai herbal crude extracts on rat liver microsomal CYP3A4 enzyme. Methods: The inhibitory effect of CYP3A4 was investigated by using testosterone as a specific CYP3A4 probe substrate. The amount of 6β-hydroxytestosterone obtained from the reaction with or without herbal crude extract was determined by using HPLC. Then the inhibitory effect was calculated as % inhibition. Results: The aqueous extract of 6 herbs inhibited CYP3A4 activity as followings Bastard cardamom (Amomum villosum) 33.07%, Shoebutton ardisia (Ardisia elliptica) 34.57%, Kaempfer (Boesenbergia rotunda) 37.60%, Jasmine (Jasminum Sambac) 37.80%, Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) 32.00% and Sarapee (Mammea siamensis) 25.70%. The methanol extracts of 6 herbs inhibited CYP3A4 activity as followings Bastard cardamom 26.93%, Shoebutton ardisia 30.86%, Kaempfer 52.03%, Jasmine 21.91%, Sacred lotus 15.67% and Sarapee 62.39%. The hexane extract of 6 herbs also inhibited CYP3A4 activity as followings Bastard cardamom 67.80%, Shoebutton ardisia 61.77%, Kaempfer 50.75%, Jasmine 46.88%, Sacred lotus 66.15% and Sarapee 63.90%. Conclusion: These results suggest that all 6 Thai herbs inhibit rat liver microsomal CPY3A4 activities in variety degree.
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