Effect of Nutmeg/Vitamin C on Primary Visual Occipital Cortex in Adult Rats
Fatma El-nabawya A El-Safty1, Mostafa M El-Habiby2, Wael B El-Kholy2, Gehan El-Akabawy2 and Nesrin A Salman1*
1Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Menoufia University, Egypt
2Department of Basic Sciences, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Saudi Arabia
Submission: March 23, 2018; Published: April 25, 2018
*Corresponding author: Nesrin Abd Allah Salman, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Shebin El-Kom City, Menoufia Governate, Menoufia University, Egypt, Tel: 002-0105021420; Email: email@example.com
How to cite this article: Fatma El-nabawya A El-Safty, Mostafa M El-Habiby, Wael B El-Kholy, Gehan El-Akabawy, Nesrin A Salman. Effect of Nutmeg/Vitamin C on Primary Visual Occipital Cortex in Adult Rats. Anatomy Physiol Biochem Int J: 2018; 5(1): 555653. DOI: 10.19080/APBIJ.2018.05.555653.
Objective: To evaluate the neurotoxic effect of nutmeg and the protective role of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) on the primary visual occipital cortex in adult rat.
Data Sources: PubMed/Medline, Science Direct and Internet from 2010 to 2016.
Study Selection:The initial search presented 8 articles, where 2 had inclusion criteria. The articles studied the degenerative effects of nutmeg on central nervous system (CNS) and the possible neuro-protective role of vitamin C.
Data Extraction: If the studies do not meet the inclusion criteria, they were excluded.
Data Synthesis:Comparisons were made by structured review with the results tabulated. Each study was reviewed independently and the obtained data were rebuilt in new language according to the need of the researcher and arranged in topics through the article.
Findings:In total 2 potentially relevant publications were included, all were animal studies. The studies indicate the neurodegenerative effects of nutmeg on CNS and the possible neuro-protective role of vitamin C.
Conclusion:Co-treatment with vitamin C provided a beneficial role against nutmeg-induced neurotoxicity through its antioxidant property.
Nutmeg originates from the fruit of the nutmeg tree, Myristica Fragrans . It is best known as the kitchen spice. It enters in the composition of numerous medicines to treat gastric disorders and rheumatism . Nutmeg is cheap and legal; this made it a popular narcotic among prisoners, seamen, soldiers, and struggling musicians . When it is used in higher doses, it has aphrodisiac and psychoactive properties, so it received attention as an alternative hallucinogen . The effects of nutmeg on CNS are variable, and reflect CNS excitatory and depressant effects . Nutmeg has a pro-oxidative activity that can induce oxidative stress or inhibiting the antioxidant systems . It is feasible that vitamin C has neuro-protective role as a potent scavenger of oxygen free radicals . Therefore, vitamin C could be a promising candidate to antagonize the harmful effect
of nutmeg on visual occipital cortex. Few studies have evaluated the effect of nutmeg on the primary visual cortex. Therefore,
this work aimed at studying the effect of nutmeg on the visual occipital cortex in adult male albino rat and to establish the possible protective role of vitamin C.
We reviewed papers on the impact of nutmeg on CNS and the neuro-protective role of vitamin C from PubMed/Medline, Science Direct and also materials accessible in the Internet. We used nutmeg/vitamin C/occipital cortex as searching codes. The search was accomplished in the electronic databanks from 2010 to 2016.
If the studies did not achieve the above criteria, they were
omitted such as report without peer-review, not within federal
studies platform, letters/comments/editorials/news and
studies do not focused on the neuro- degenerative effects of
nutmeg and the neuro-protective role of vitamin C.
The quality of all the studies was assessed. Important factors
included, study design, attainment of ethical approval, evidence
of a power calculation, specified eligibility criteria, appropriate
controls, and adequate information and specified assessment
measures. It was expected that confounding factors would be
reported and controlled for and appropriate data analysis made
in addition to an explanation of missing data. It was expected
that confounding factors would be reported and controlled for
and appropriate data analysis made in addition to an explanation
of missing data.
In total 8 potentially related publications were recognized,
6 articles were eliminated. A total of 2 studies were included
in the review as they were considered suitable by forthright
the containment criteria. All studies were animal researches.
The majority of the researchers surveyed the outcomes of
degenerative effects of nutmeg on CNS and the possible neuroprotective
role of vitamin C.
If the researches did not accomplish the above criteria, they
were omitted such as commentary without peer-review, not
within federal studies platform, letters/comments/editorials/
update and researches not concentrated on degenerative
effects of nutmeg on CNS and the possible neuro-protective
role of vitamin C. The considered publications were assessed
to evidence-based medicine (EBM) criteria by means of the
classification of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force & UK
National Health Service protocol for EBM in addition to the
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force:
a) Level I: Evidence obtained from at least one properly
designed randomized controlled trial.
b) Level II-1: Evidence obtained from well-designed
controlled trials without randomization.
c) Level II-2: Evidence obtained from well-designed
cohort or case-control analytic studies, preferably from
more than one center or research group.
d) Level II-3: Evidence obtained from multiple time
series with or without the intervention. Dramatic results
in uncontrolled trials might also be regarded as this type of
e) Level III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on
clinical experience, descriptive studies, or reports of expert
Vital issues encompassed, study design, fulfilment of ethical
approval, evidence of a force estimation, definite eligibility
norms, and suitable controls, enough data, and definite
assessment manners were evaluated.
As the primary visual occipital cortex is the best-studied
visual area in brain. It is the simplest and the earliest cortical
visual area. In addition, it is highly specialized for handling
information about static, moving objects, and plays an important
role in pattern recognition . Nutmeg is considered particular
neurotoxic food additive, in such a way, as to cause damage to
nervous tissue . Since it has been widely used, as a spice in
various dishes . Studies on nutmeg were done. One of them
reported that nutmeg induced visual hallucination. This effect
could be mediated by affecting the visual pathway, through
affecting the microanatomy of the lateral geniculate body of
adult rats [10,11].
A study demonstrated that, there were cellular degenerative
changes as pyknotic nuclei and some microcystic changes in the
stroma of the superior colliculus-treated with nutmeg . In
addition, there was another study which conducted that, cellular
degenerative changes in the nutmeg-treated medial geniculate
body were found . Moreover, nutmeg toxicity is not only
reported to affect the nervous system, but also its toxicity
extents to include other organs in the body. It was recorded that,
high doses of nutmeg had deleterious effects on the kidneys
of adult rats . Although the neurotoxic effect of nutmeg in
the visual hallucinations associated with over dose. This means
that, in low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological
or neurological response, but in large doses, raw nutmeg has
psychoactive effects .
Nutmeg was reported to have cytotoxic and apoptotic effects
in a mechanism, involving messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)
down regulation . Caspases are the enzymes which involved
in breakdown of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into fragments.
These fragments of DNA are important in detecting apoptotic cells
by agarose gel electrophoresis . Damaged neurons induced
also astrogliosis. So astrogliosis has been used as an index for
underlying neuronal damage . It was demonstrated that
nutmeg extracts showed pro-oxidative activity that stimulated
oxidative stress . So this side effect could be overlapped by
antioxidants. Antioxidant is a molecule stable enough to donate
an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it. They
can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain
reaction before vital molecules are damaged . Since vitamin
C is considered the major water-soluble antioxidant within the
body and can pass blood brain barrier . Preclinical trials
showed a beneficial effect of vitamin C on the degenerative
changes caused by nutmeg on brain. Vitamin C prevented some
of the deleterious effect of ethanol on developing rat brain when
given after ethanol exposure .
Co-treatment of vitamin C showed significantly decreased
expression of caspase-3 as compare to control group. Vitamin C
had protective effect against pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) -induced
apoptotic neuro-degeneration in adult rat brain . Moreover,
vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can ameliorate the histological
degenerative apoptotic changes induced by cadmium on the
cerebral cortex of rats . Vitamin C, as compared to other
antioxidant drugs, exerts potent anticonvulsant and neuroprotective
effects . The before mentioned studies direct the
attention to the antioxidants as vitamin C as protective measures
for the neurotoxicity induced by nutmeg. The body cannot
manufacture vitamin C, so they must be supplied in the diet .