Impact of Hibiscus Sabdariffa Calyx Aqueous Extract Consumption by Pregnant and Lactating Sprague-Dawley Rats on Pregnancy Outcome and Postnatal Development
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Extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) are widely believed in folk medicine to be effective in the treatment of a variety of ailments. Aqueous extract of HS has been reported to decrease fluid and food consumption and weight gain in non-pregnant rats through mechanisms not yet fully understood. Thus when aqueous extract of HS is administered to pregnant and lactating animals, it may lead to decreased food consumption and consequently, malnutrition in these animals. Maternal malnutrition during pregnancy and lactation has been shown to lead to offspring malnutrition, since nutrition of the offspring at this period of their development is dependent on maternal nutrition, and a host of abnormalities later in life. There is paucity of data on pregnancy outcomes and offspring postnatal developments following maternal consumption of aqueous extract of HS during pregnancy and/or lactation. The present study was therefore designed to investigate whether or not maternal consumption of aqueous extract of HS during pregnancy, lactation and pregnancy and lactation will affect pregnancy outcomes in terms of pregnancy weight gain, length of gestation, litter size and birth weight and postnatal development in the female offspring in terms of postnatal weight gain and onset of puberty and to examine the possible mechanisms through which these effects (if any) are mediated. Ninety (90) acclimatized virgin female Sprague-Dawley rats aged between ten and twelve weeks with two consecutive regular four-day estrus cycles and weighing 122.57.5g (mean standard error of mean) (Range: 100g – 160g) were used for this study. The rats were mated and studied and used to produce offsprings that were also studied. On day 1 of pregnancy, the rats were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups namely: Group A -rats that consumed aqueous HS throughout pregnancy only, Group B -rats that consumed aqueous HS throughout lactation only and Group C -rats that consumed aqueous HS throughout pregnancy and lactation. These groups were further subdivided into three; control, 0.6gHS extract/100ml of water and 1.8gHS extract/100ml of water depending on the dose of HS extract administered. There was decreased fluid and food consumption by the HS dams. There was no change in the length of gestation but there was decreased pregnancy weight gain, decreased litter size and increased litter birth weight in HS dams in group A. There was also increased postnatal weight gain and delayed onset of puberty in the offsprings of HS dams. In group A, the postnatal weight was more pronounced in the 1.8g/100ml subgroup and the onset of puberty was more significantly delayed in the 0.6g/100ml subgroup. In group B, there was no statistically significant difference in postnatal weight and onset of puberty between 0.6g/100ml and 1.8g/100ml subgroups whereas in group C, 1.8g/100ml subgroup had more significant delay in onset of puberty. There was increased plasma Na+ and corticosterone concentration in the HS dams in the three groups. There was no statistically significant difference in plasma Na+ concentration between 0.6g/100ml and 1.8g/100ml subgroups in the three groups whereas the 1.8g/100ml subgroup in groups A and B had more significant corticosterone compared with 0.6g/100ml. From the results of the present study, it can be concluded that maternal consumption of aqueous extract of HS during pregnancy, lactation and pregnancy and lactation only resulted in decreased fluid and food consumption, decreased pregnancy weight, decreased litter size, increased litter birth weight, increased postnatal weight and delayed onset of puberty. It is suggested that the mechanism by which HS mediated the observed effects in the present study was through the elevation of maternal plasma Na+ and Corticosterone concentration and the exposure of the offsprings to this elevation when they were in utero and when suckling.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
Hibiscus sabdariffa , folk medicineAqueous extract , Sprague-Dawley rats , Non Pregnant Rats , Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE
Iyare, E.E (2010). Impact of Hibiscus Sabdariffa Calyx Aqueous Extract Consumption by Pregnant and Lactating Sprague-Dawley Rats on Pregnancy Outcome and Postnatal Development. A Thesis Submitted to University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation, 157pp.