Introduction: Tartrazine is still one of the most widely used coloring agents in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries; various hazardous consequences have been identified in rodents and humans, including impaired kidney function. This current study aimed to evaluate the effect of tartrazine on the biochemical parameters and structures of the kidney.
Methods: Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were divided into four groups of 6 each. The experimental animals received tartrazine orally at a dose of 3.75, 7.5, and 15 mg/kg body weight along with a normal diet. The control group received only food and drinking water. The study was carried out for 21 days. At the end of the experiment, biochemical (blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine) and histopathological examinations were performed on animal kidney tissues.
Results: Our findings revealed a significant increase in urea and creatinine levels in the serum of tartrazine-treated rats compared to controls (p < 0.05). The kidney section of rats treated with tartrazine showed lumen compression of tubular cells and loss of integrity of the renal tubule membrane. Tartrazine was associated with increases in the percentage of renal tubular necrosis in a dose-dependent manner compared to the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The current study concluded that oral administration of tartrazine affected the kidney by increasing urea nitrogen, creatinine levels, and the percentage of renal tubular necrosis in male Wistar rats. The results showed that tartrazine intake could cause adverse kidney health effects.