MARIA ADRIANA NEAG, IOANA CORINA BOCSAN, ADRIAN CATINEAN, STEFAN CRISTIAN VESA, GHEORGHE G. BALAN, MARCEL PARVU, DANA MARIA MUNTEAN, LAURIAN VLASE, CARMEN STANCA MELINCOVICI, RALUCA POP, ANCA DANA BUZOIANU EFFECTS OF BERBERIS VULGARIS EXTRACT ON LIPID PROFILE, KIDNEY AND LIVER FUNCTION IN EXPERIMENTAL DYSLIPIDEMIA The ability of Berberis vulgaris bark extract (BVE) to improve the lipid profile was evaluated in an experimental model of dyslipidemia, along with its effects on liver and kidney functions. Fifty rats divided into five groups of ten animals each were fed with normal or lard-based diet and orally treated with 0.9% saline solution, atorvastatin (2.5 mg/kg per body weight) or extract of BVE (300 and 500 mg/kg/day) for eight weeks. Lipid profile, liver and renal functions were assessed in normal and diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rats. The results were compared between the groups treated with Berberis extract and the group without treatment, respectively that one treated with the standard drug (atorvastatin). Administration of BVE or atorvastatin significantly decreases the elevated serum lipid profile (p <0.05). The extract also protects against dyslipidemia-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The activities of the plant extract are dose dependent and it compares favorably with the standard drug atorvastatin. Variations in aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and urea level measurements were neither different between the two determinations nor between groups, but creatinine values decreased in rats in the BVE or atorvastatin-treated groups. The findings of the current study have suggested that BVE intake suppresses the accumulation of hepatic lipids and lipid parameters and reduce the risk of NAFLD. So, BVE can be useful in hypercholesterolemia.