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Articles by P.N. Okafor
Total Records ( 5 ) for P.N. Okafor
  P.N. Okafor and O.D. Omodamiro
  The possible chemical/phytotoxin and microbial contamination of nine brands of pasta foods (macaroni, spaghetti and noodles) commonly consumed in Nigeria were investigated following identification of pesticide residues in Indomie noodles (a brand of pasta food) and contamination of baby foods (SMA) with some poisonous cassava materials. Enzymatic and spectrophotometric analysis of these foods for cyanide content indicate the presence of this compound ranging from 7.60-70.65 mg CN-kg-1. Chemical analysis of these foods showed the presence of alkaloids, tannins and saponins while microbial quality test indicated the presence of Salmonella sp., Rhizopus sp. and Staphylococcus aureus in three food samples. The implications of these findings are discussed from toxicological and food bioterrorism points of view.
  P.N. Okafor , V.O. Anyanwu and H.O. Onyema
  The effects of cassava cyanide on the antioxidant (glutathione) status and some clinically important enzymes were investigated biochemically in male albino wistar rats fed for 28 days with cassava diet containing 54.6 mg CN_kg-1 DM and 10% protein supplement. Analysis of the urinary and serum cyanide and thiocyanate of the test and control rats showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between the test and the control. The mean serum and urinary cyanide were 2.92±0.53 and 8.21±6.32 μg mL-1 after 7 days and 3.80±0.67 and 11.08±0.54 μg mL-1 after 28 days, respectively. Mean serum and urinary thiocyanate were 16.73±0.42 and 19.90±1.35 μg mL-1 after 7 days and 18.14±0.18 and 36.59±1.87 μg mL-1after 28 days, respectively. Depletion in whole blood glutathione level by 47.3 and 89% (after 7 and 28 days, respectively) compared to that of the control was also observed. Increases in plasma activity of aspartate aminotrasferase (90%), alanine aminotrasferase (88.5%) and alkaline phosphatse (49%) were also measured after 28 days of the feeding experiment. There was elevation in blood glucose of the test animals, while the levels of protein and albumin remain within the normal range for both test and control animals.
  G.C. Ikechukwu , S.I. Egba , R.C. Ibeh , E.G. Helal , E.U. Ejiofor and P.N. Okafor
  Background and Objective: Amaranth dye and vanillin are food additives used in food, drugs and cosmetics. This study was designed to assess the sub-chronic effect of oral ingestion of these food additives on biochemical parameters. Materials and Methods: The animals were divided into 7 groups (5 animals/cage) and fed standard diet with tap water ad libitum. The animals were treated with 4.7 mg kg–1 b.wt., amaranth dye, 47 mg kg–1 b.wt., amaranth dye, 12.5 mg kg–1 b.wt., vanillin, 125 mg kg–1 b.wt., vanillin, 2.35 mg kg–1 b.wt., amaranth+6.25 mg kg–1 b.wt., vanillin and then 23.5 mg kg–1 b.wt., amaranth+62.5 mg kg–1 b.wt., vanillin. Blood samples were collected at the end of the study period for biochemical analyses. Data analysis was carried out with SPSS using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Result: This study showed a significant (p<0.05) increase in alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase in animals treated with amaranth dye. Serum urea and creatinine were significantly (p<0.05) elevated in animals treated with amaranth and vanillin. Significant (p<0.05) decrease in total protein and bilirubin was observed in animals treated with 4.7 mg kg–1 b.wt., of amaranth dye compared to the control group. This study showed significant (p<0.05) increase in glutathione and catalase in animals treated with high dose of the combination of amaranth and vanillin. Haematological assessment showed significant (p<0.05) elevation in haemoglobin, red blood cells and platelet count in animals treated with 4.7 mg kg–1 b.wt., of amaranth dye and also showed significant (p<0.05) increase in total white blood cells in groups administered vanillin and combination of amaranth and vanillin. Conclusion: Amaranth and vanillin can adversely affect organs as the liver and kidney and alter biochemical parameters.
  R.N. Asomugha , A.N. Ezejiofor , P.N. Okafor and I.I. Ijeh
  Chromolaena odorata, a commonly used traditional remedy for different ailments, believed to be quite safe in terms of toxicity was evaluated for acute toxicity and cytotoxic potentials. Acute toxicity was done on albino Wistar rats using the Lorke method while brine shrimps were used to test for cytotoxicity. The results showed that the estimated LD50 for the aqueous and ethanolic extracts was 2154 and >5000 mg kg-1 body weight, respectively. Cytotoxicity to brine shrimps showed LC50 values of 324 and 392 ppm for aqueous and ethanolic extracts, respectively. These results indicate the relative non toxic nature of Chromolaena odorata extracts.
  C.O. Eleazu , P.N. Okafor and Ikpeama Ahamefuna
  The antioxidant composition of unripe plantain and its free radical scavenging activity on alloxan induced diabetic rabbits and on DPPH radical was investigated. 10 male rabbits weighing between 1.58 and 1.88 kg were used for this study. Diabetes was induced in the experimental rabbits with alloxan (35 mg/kg body weight. ip). Group 1 rabbits served as the control groups and they received normal rabbit feeds. Group 2 rabbits were the animals of group 1 which were made diabetic by the injection of alloxan and they also received normal rabbit feeds while group 3 rabbits (test groups) were the animals of group 2 which were later fed with unripe plantain at a dosage of 25 kg/kg body weight/day for 4 weeks. The duration of the experiment was 7 weeks and the weights of the animals in each group were recorded daily throughout the experiment while the blood glucose levels, malonaldehyde, catalase and glutathione were recorded on a 2 weeks interval. The results show that the diabetic rabbits placed on unripe plantain diet had an increase in their body weights, glutathione and catalase levels but a decrease in malonaldehyde and blood glucose levels after 4 weeks of unripe plantain intake when compared with the control (p<0.05). Correlation analysis carried out revealed that glutathione correlated negatively with malonaldehyde and glucose (r = -0.77 and -0.89), but positively with catalase and body weight (r = 0.60 and 0.70). Malonaldehyde correlated negatively with catalase and body weight (r = -0.44 and -0.72) but positively with glucose (r = 0.86). The antioxidant composition of the methanolic extracts of the unripe plantain flour as determined by the quantities of peroxidase and quercetin present was 52±0.00% peroxidase and 5.32 ug/ml quercetin while its free radical scavenging activity on DPPH radical was 78.57±0.00%. Analysis of the proximate and phytochemical composition of the unripe plantain flour showed that it contained 3.16±0.04% protein, 0.21±0.003% lipid, 52±2.82% moisture, 5.5±0.42% ash, 1.58±0.04% tannin, 1.82±0.05% saponin, 1.37±0.05% alkaloid and 0.98±0.00% flavonoid. These findings suggest that raised blood glucose level in diabetics could deplete cells of their antioxidant status by decreasing the glutathione and red cell catalase levels leading to an increased malonaldehyde level which is a marker of oxidative stress. In addition, unripe plantain intake by a diabetic could exert a free radical scavenging activity by restoring the altered antioxidant status since itself could serve as a natural source of antioxidants.
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