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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 23  |  Page No.: 1505 - 1510

Delayed Puberty Onset in Rats that Consumed Aqueous Extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa During the Juvenile-Pubertal Period

E.E. Iyare and U.I. Nwagha    

Abstract: The report that intervention during the juvenile-pubertal period in rats modifies the phenotype induced by prenatal nutrition suggests some degree of plasticity in the juvenile-pubertal period. It is not known whether consumption of aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) during the juvenile-pubertal period will affect the growth and onset of puberty in rats. The present study was therefore designed to investigate this. Weaned 21 days old rats, whose mothers were given food and water ad libitum during pregnancy and lactation, were divided randomly into three groups of nine rats each. Control group had tap water only while the extract groups had 0.6 g extract/100 mL and 1.8 g extract/100 mL as their drinking solution throughout the juvenile-pubertal period [postnatal day (PND) 21-puberty onset]. From PND 30 onwards, the rats were inspected daily for vaginal opening, which was used as the index for puberty onset. Rats in the HS groups (0.6 and 1.8 g/100 mL) drank less fluid (solution of HS extract and water) and consumed less food compared with the control group at all periods of measurement. The weight of 0.6 g/100 mL was not different from the control whereas 1.8 g/100 mL was lower at PND 28, similar at PND 35 and higher at PND 42 compared with the control. Puberty onset in the HS groups was significantly delayed compared with the control. It is concluded that consumption of aqueous extract of HS during the juvenile-pubertal period decreased fluid and food consumption, increased weight gain and delayed puberty onset in rats.

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