Some Anthropometric, Biochemical and Haematogical Studies of Rats Fed on Different Composite Diets Prepared from Maize, Groundnut and Soybean
The effect of oral administration of two different composite diets prepared from maize, groundnut and soybean on some anthropometric, haematological and biochemical indices of albino rats was investigated. In this study, the material balance method under steady state conditions was employed to prepare a composite diet of one part of groundnut to eight parts of soybean to sixteen parts of maize. Ninety rats divided into three groups (A, B and C) of thirty rats each were used. Group A was placed on maize diet alone (diet 3) which serves as control, whereas groups B and C were placed on the composite diets (diets 1and 2) containing soybean flours (Anidaso and Salintuya) respectively with groundnut cake and fermented maize. The length, weight, total protein, serum albumin, haemoglobin and white blood cell were measured at week zero (0) and every two (2) weeks for 10 weeks. The results revealed that rats fed on the composite diets had normal growth (Length: 35-40 cm; Weight: 190-230 g), acceptable biochemical (Total Protein: 75-80 g L-1; Serum albumin: 45-50 g L-1) and haematological (Haemoglobin: 12.5-14.0 g dL-1; White blood cell: 6.0-6.5x109 L-1) indices, whereas the control rats showed the reverse (Length: 35-37 cm; Weight: 180-185 g; Total Protein: 65-72 g L-1; Serum albumin: 35-43 g L-1, Haemoglobin: 10.5-12.0 g dL-1; White blood cell: 7.0-8.0x109 L-1) with p< 0.5. The composite diets can therefore be used as a weaning food to improve the nutritional and health status of growing infants in Ghana.
Received: April 10, 2010;
Accepted: August 06, 2010;
Published: October 04, 2010
Research has shown that most of the weaning foods consumed in communities of
developing countries are deficient in essential nutrients (FAO/WHO,
1998). Several strategies have been employed to improve the nutritive value
of these weaning foods in those countries (Gopaldas et
al., 1998). However, the necessary impart has still not been realized.
As a result malnutrition has become one of the major health problems facing
children of developing countries. Throughout the developing world, malnutrition
affects almost 800 million people which is 20% of the world population (WHO,
2000). The high price of proprietary weaning foods, vegetables, animal proteins
and non-availability of low-priced nutritious foods, combined with bad feeding
practices and late introduction of supplementary foods are mostly responsible
for aggravating the under nourished condition of children (Dutra-de-Oliveira,1991).
Good nutrition particularly during infancy can promote adequate physical and
mental development leading to good health (Berggren, 1982).
According to Wardlaw (2000), an infant typically increase
in length by 50% in the first year and such rapid growth requires nourishment.
When an infant is inadequately fed there is the risk of stunted growth and a
range of biochemical changes that can impair development to a larger extent.
During the first four to six months of life, all nutrient required by an infant
can be provided by breast milk and so there is no dietary need for the introduction
of solid food before then (Trussel, 2003). By the age
of 6 months, most infant need additional foods, the purpose of which is to complement
the breast milk and make available certain nutrients that the young child would
need to grow normally (Bradley et al., 1987).
This goal is only achieved when these foods are prepared and fed to the infants
under hygienic conditions and given in adequate proportions (Akaninwor
and Okechukwu, 2004). Soybeans, groundnuts and maize are readily available
local crops that can complement each other to meet the recommended daily food
allowance for growing infants because of its nutritional composition. Soybeans
have recently become popular in the West African sub-region due to their high
protein content and quality and are being cultivated at a steadily increasing
rate. Its protein content (40%) is higher and more economical than that of beef
(18%), chicken (20%), fish (18%) and groundnut (23%), (IITA,
1990). Apart from proteins, soya beans also contain carbohydrate (32%),
fat (20%), minerals/vitamins (5%) and fiber (3%), (Lovati
et al., 2000). Groundnut has adequately high concentrations of proteins,
carbohydrates, fibres, fats, vitamins and essential minerals. The maize grain
is also composed mainly of carbohydrates but it also has appreciable amount
of minerals, vitamins and amino acid especially methionine (Matz,
1991). The high lysine content of legumes improves the nutritional quality
of cereals by complementing its limiting sulphur containing amino acids (Bressani
and Ellias, 1966). Even though soybeans and groundnut contain anti-nutritional
compounds including trypsin inhibitors, haemgglutinnins, goitrogens, saponins
and phytic acid, all these nutritive factors are destroyed or reduced to minimum
through traditional cooking and processing techniques such as soaking in water
and roasting (Ologhobo and Fetuga, 1984). It is against
this background that the study looked at improving the traditional African weaning
foods by combining locally available crops that can meet the nutritional needs
of the growing infants in developing countries. The study was therefore undertaken
to evaluate the anthropometric characteristics, biochemical and haematological
indices of albino rats fed on composite diets prepared from these crops.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Source of Material
In may 2007 two varieties of soybeans, Glycine Max (Salintuya and Anidaso),
maize (Obaatampa) and groundnut (Chinese) were obtained from Grains
and Legumes Development Board at Abuakwa a suburb of Kumasi, Ghana. Appropriate
technology was employed to prepare the groundnut cake, soybean grit and fermented
maize flour. A mixture of one part of groundnut to eight parts of soybean to
sixteen parts of maize were used to formulate the composite diets by employing
the material balance method under steady state conditions so that the blended
flour will meet the standard set by the Protein Advisory Group (PAG,
Ninety albino rats aged 4 weeks with average weight of 175 g were obtained
from the animal house of Faculty of Pharmacy, KNUST, Kumasi-Ghana. The rats
were acclimatized on 75 g of their own commercial pellets for 4 weeks and this
was followed by another 2 weeks of starvation on 25 g of the same diet before
treatment. The rats were randomly assigned to three groups (A, B and C) of thirty
rats per group. Each group contains six cages of five rats per cage. The cages
were numbered from 1 to 6 in each group. Group A, B and C were fed on the diet
1 (Fermented maize flour), diet 2 (Fermented maize flour, groundnut and blanch
soybean-Anidaso) and diet 3 (Fermented maize flour, groundnut and
blanch soybean (Salintuya 1) respectively. The rats in the first cage in each
group was sacrificed for the baseline determination of the anthropometric (length
and weight), biochemical (total protein and serum albumin) and haematological
(haemoglobin and white blood count) measurements. After that the rats in the
other cages were daily fed on 75 g of the different diets. The rats in the second
to the sixth cage in each group were respectively sacrificed at every two weeks
for similar determinations.
The length (cm) and weight (g) of the rats were measurement using the rotring
metre rule and weighing balance (Salter electronic scale, model 1036 BKDR),
Blood samples were collected from rats by jugular incision into EDTA bottles
and Serum containers. Auto analyzer was used to measure the blood indices: Haemoglobin
(Hb), White Blood Count (WBC), Total protein and Serum Albumin, according to
the details reported in Cheesebrough (2000). All samples
were analyzed at the Clinical Analysis Laboratory of Biochemistry Department,
Experimental data was analyzed using one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
and Duncans multiple range tests to determine significant difference between
means. The SPSS software version 10 was used for this analysis. A p-value less
than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Anthropometric, Biochemical and Haematological Indices
All the values of the anthropometric and blood parameters among the rats
under study fell within the reference range (Length -30-40 cm, Weight -180-250
g, Total protein -60-80 g L-1, Serum albumin -30-55 g L-1,
Haemoglobin -12.5-18.0 g dL-1 and White blood cell -4.0-10.0 x109
L-1) after the first two weeks except the Haemoglobin (10.5-12.0
g dL-1) of the control rats (Cheesebrough, 2000).
The test rats (Diet 1: 10.1%; Diet 2: 33.5%) significantly gained weight (p<0.5)
more than that of the control rats (Diet 3: 8.3%) as shown in Fig.
1. In the length, there was a similar trend in which the gain in length
was also significantly greater in the test rats (Diet 1: 9.0%; Diet 2: 13.5%)
as compared to the control rats (Diet 3: 9.0%) (Fig. 2). The
total protein content in rats fed on diets 1 and 2 increased steadily from approximately
75.0 to 80.0 g L-1 after two weeks as compared to the other rats
fed on diet 3 which decreased sharply from approximately 72.0 to 65.0 g L-1
over the same period of time (Fig. 3). Similarly, the serum
albumin in rats fed on diets 1 and 2 increased from approximately 45.0 to 50.0
g L-1 after two weeks, whereas that of the other rats fed on diet
3 decreased from approximately 43 to 35 g L-1 over the same time
|| The trend in weight measurements of albino rats over a period
|| The trend in length measurements of albino rats over a period
|| The trend in total protein measurement of albino rats over
a period of time
Also, the haemoglobin increased from approximately 12.5 to 14.0 g dL-1
for rats fed on diets 1 and 2, whereas that of the other rats fed on diet 3
decreased from approximately 12.0 g dL-1 to 11.0 after the same period
of time (Fig. 6). However, the WBC values for the control
diet 3 increased from approximately 7.0 to 8.0 x109 L-1
after two weeks, whereas that of the composite diets (6.3 to 6.5x109
L-1) remained almost independent of the time after the same time
|| The trend in serum albumin measurement of albino rats over
a period of time
|| The trend in white cell count measurement of albino rats
over a period of time
|| The trend in haemoglobin measurements of albino rats over
a period of time
The effect of the composite diets on the growth of the rats in terms of weight
gain was very prominent in the animal model. Thus diet 1 and diet 2 had remarkable
effect on the growth of the rats as compared to those on diet 3 which had irregular
growth. This information indicates that the composite diet can maintain normal
growth, but the control diet lacked the necessary amino acid for the body. Cereals
are deficient in lysine but have sufficient sulphur-containing amino acids that
are limiting in legumes. Therefore, the combination of cereals and legumes was
able to produce amino acid compositions that adequately promote normal growth.
These results support the fact that traditional West African weaning foods could
be improved by combining locally available foods that complement each other
in such a way that new pattern of amino acids created by such combination is
similar to that recommended for infants (Fashakin and Ogunsola,
1982). The composite diets therefore contain enough essential amino acids
which were able to support the production of complete protein to sustain growth
and development. Even though the range of values for the total protein and serum
albumin fell within the recommended range as reported by Cheesebrough
(2000), it is envisaged that beyond the study period of ten weeks the biochemical
indices of the control rats could go below the accepted range. It is important
for protein-containing foods to maintain normal circulation of total protein
and serum albumin in animals. These results were also consistent with the report
of Bolarinwa et al. (1991), in which there was
a significant reduction in the levels of total protein in protein-calorie malnourished
rats. Similarly, Hegsted (1968) and Laditan
(1976) had earlier on drawn a correlation between total protein levels and
severity of protein energy malnutrition. The protein content of soybean and
groundnut in the composite diet was quite high and could be responsible for
the normal levels of the indices. In fact, the protein content of soybean is
considerably higher than that of meat, fish, egg and other diary products on
the same weight basis (McArthur et al., 1988).
The observed Hb and WBC values could be attributed to the differences in the
amount of protein present in the various diets. The composite diets contained
the required amount of essential amino acids hence the test rats being able
to increase their Hb levels. However, the control diet showed a sharp decrease
in the Hb values because of absence of certain essential amino acids. These
results were in line with other researchers in which several protein-rich foods
had been shown to increase Hb concentrations in human and animal studies (Bolarinwa
et al., 1991; Mitchell, 1966). In addition,
animals fed on protein calorie malnourished diets had been reported to have
significant reduction in haemoglobin concentrations (Bolarinwa
et al., 1991). It is also well-documented that Kwashiorkor and marasmus
(Protein Energy Malnutrition) patients had low levels of haematological indices
(Mitchell, 1966; Adesola, 1968;
Coward and Whitehead, 1972).The high level of Hb is
an indication that the test rats were not anaemic, whereas the lower level was
a sign of anaemic condition in the control rats (Cheesebrough,
2000). Anaemia impairs normal development in children and it constitutes
a major public health problem in young children in the developing countries
with wide social and economic implications (Montalemberk
and Girot, 1996). This implies that growing infants that depend solely on
cereals as food is likely to develop stunted growth. The steady increase in
WBC counts with time for the control rats as against almost constant values
for the test rats shows that beyond the tenth week study period, the control
rats are more likely to become malnourished. This is because high WBC counts
may indicate malnutrition (Cheesebrough, 2000). The protein-containing
foods provide the immunological factors which are required to maintain the necessary
protection for the animals. It must be noted that the soybean contains minerals
and vitamins such as iron, zinc, copper, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and patholenic
acid (McArthur et al., 1988). Also, the groundnuts
are useful sources of thiamine, niacin, vitamin and folic acid (Smart,
1994). Most of these minerals and vitamins are well-known haematinics and
are essential in the formation of red blood cells (Mitchell,
1966; Ganong, 1993). The data gathered from this study
shows that the composite diet prepared from maize, groundnut and soybean is
safe, has stimulatory effect on both the haematological and biochemical indices
and has the potential to enhance normal growth in terms of weight gain.
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