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The
impact of crude oil spillage on the ecosystem as a result of oil exploration
activities, equipment failures, corrosion, illegal bunkering, oil theft and
illicit refining are well documented  1-3.

Crude oil
has been proved to alter levels of oxidative stress markers in animals 4, 5.
These oxidative stress markers include lipid peroxidation and changes in the
activities of xanthine oxidase. The process of lipid peroxidation precedes
oxidative damage in plants and animals and alterations in the level of
antioxidants represent a measure of oxidative stress. In addition, the activity
of xanthine oxidase is an example of defense mechanism as well as a measure of
oxidative stress 6. Exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons can cause impairment
of renal function via a mechanism dependent on oxidative stress 7.

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Various
parts of oil palm tree such as the trunk, fronds, leaves, mesocarp fibres,
shells and empty fruit bunches which are disposed as waste can be used
medicinally. The juice squeezed out from palm leaves can be applied to enhance
wound healing while the sap can be used as laxative 8.

Biologically
active compounds like alkaloids, phenolic compounds, saponins, flavonoids and
many others, with known antibacterial and antioxidant properties, can be of
great significance in therapeutic treatments 9, 10. It has been confirmed
that flavonoid, tannin and phenolic are the main phytochemical constituents in
oil palm leaves, hence its ability as an effective antioxidant 11. Oil palm
fronds extract has 8% higher contents of non-toxic antioxidative phenolic
compounds than various green tea extracts 12. Oil palm frond extract may be a
potential new source of functional food ingredient, based on reports of its benefit
on health 13 .The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Oil palm
leave treated crude oil contaminated diet on the level of lipid peroxidation
and xanthine oxidase activity in the kidney of rats.

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