Theimpact of crude oil spillage on the ecosystem as a result of oil explorationactivities, equipment failures, corrosion, illegal bunkering, oil theft andillicit refining are well documented 1-3.Crude oilhas been proved to alter levels of oxidative stress markers in animals 4, 5.
These oxidative stress markers include lipid peroxidation and changes in theactivities of xanthine oxidase. The process of lipid peroxidation precedesoxidative damage in plants and animals and alterations in the level ofantioxidants represent a measure of oxidative stress. In addition, the activityof xanthine oxidase is an example of defense mechanism as well as a measure ofoxidative stress 6. Exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons can cause impairmentof renal function via a mechanism dependent on oxidative stress 7.
Variousparts of oil palm tree such as the trunk, fronds, leaves, mesocarp fibres,shells and empty fruit bunches which are disposed as waste can be usedmedicinally. The juice squeezed out from palm leaves can be applied to enhancewound healing while the sap can be used as laxative 8.Biologicallyactive compounds like alkaloids, phenolic compounds, saponins, flavonoids andmany others, with known antibacterial and antioxidant properties, can be ofgreat significance in therapeutic treatments 9, 10.
It has been confirmedthat flavonoid, tannin and phenolic are the main phytochemical constituents inoil palm leaves, hence its ability as an effective antioxidant 11. Oil palmfronds extract has 8% higher contents of non-toxic antioxidative phenoliccompounds than various green tea extracts 12. Oil palm frond extract may be apotential new source of functional food ingredient, based on reports of its benefiton health 13 .The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Oil palmleave treated crude oil contaminated diet on the level of lipid peroxidationand xanthine oxidase activity in the kidney of rats.