The Effects of Cassava Starch on the Pancreas of Adult Wistar Rats

Okafor Igwe Joseph


Cassava starch, a staple food from the root of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) has been found to contain some antinutrients (coumarins and cyanogenic glycosides) phytochemicals (tannin and flavonoids) which are toxic to the body. This study evaluates the effects of cassava starch on the liver of adult wistar rats. A total of 20 adult wistar rats weighing about 150-200g were used in this study and were randomly divided into 4 groups. Group 1 served as the control and received only distilled water and normal laboratory chow. Group 2 received 250mg/kg of starch. Group 3 received 500mg/kg of starch and Group 4 received 1000mg/kg of starch. The administration lasted for a period of 28 days and the extract was administered via oral route. Twenty four hours after the last administration, the animals were anesthetized under chloroform vapour and dissected. Blood for serum preparation was collected through cardiac puncture for histochemical studies. The pancreas was harvested and fixed in 10% formal saline for histological studies. Body weight results revealed that there was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in body weight of groups 3 and 4 while group 2 had an insignificant increase (P>0.05) when compared with control. Result from relative pancreas weight showed an insignificant decrease (P>0.05) in groups 2, 3 and 4 when compared with control. Result from blood glucose level showed that there was a significant increase (P<0.05) in group 3 & 4 when compared with control, while group 2 had an insignificant increase (P>0.05) when compared with control. Result from histology of the pancreas of the tested group revealed that there was no damage caused by cassava starch when compared with control. In conclusion, the aqueous extract of Starch was not toxic to the pancreas and also possesses hyperglycemic activity.

Keywords: Cassava, Starch, Wistar rats, Body weight

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