Man is exposed to natural radiations from cosmic or terrestrial origins. Furthermore, it is well known that the gamma irradiation-induced biochemical alteration depends mostly on oxidative stress. Basil or sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is known to have numerous pharmacological activities. Therefore, the present study was carried out to investigate the radioprotective activity of basil in albino rats. The effect of basil aqueous extract (BAE) was evaluated on hepatic marker enzymes, sex hormones, lipid profile and antioxidant status. The results showed that - rays caused a significant increase in serum level of alanine and aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (ALT, AST, ALP and GT), cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C and VLDL-C) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). A significant decrease in high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in serum was observed, compared with control group. Moreover, - rays induced a significant drop in the serum sex hormones levels testosterone (T), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The BAE administered orally to rats has significantly modulated all the radiation-induced biochemical alterations. These findings showed that basil would exert a radioprotective properties.
Farag, M. F.S. 
- Food Irradiation Research Dep. National Centre for Radiation Research and Technology, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo (Egypt)