Pre-natal effects of ethanol and folic acid supplements on the mineralisation of bones in Wistar rat

  • SS Adebisi Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
Keywords: Ethanol, folic acid, bone mineralisation, rat


Background: Alcohol consumption has long been implicated as capable of inducing folic acid deficiency, in particular at pregnancy; thus inflicting severe skeletal dysgenesis on the conceptuses particularly the mineralisation of the bones.

Methods: In the present study, 120 adult female Wistar rats were grouped into three: A, B and C. Group A received 0.79g/kg of 30% ethanol from day 1 to day 10 of gestation, group rats received same dosage of ethanol plus 0.14g/kg folic acid supplements for the same period, and group C served as the control. Bone calcium and phosphorus contents were assessed daily from day 12 to 21 in the conceptuses of the three groups; and also the detailed sequence of calcification in the foetal bones were simultaneously monitored with alizarin red S stains.

Results: Low mineral levels and a lag or delay in calcification of about 2 days were recorded in the ethanol rats compare with the folate supplement group; with respect to the control, reparative or ‘catch-up' growth was displayed in the ethanol plus folate treated rats.

Conclusion: These observations attest to the toxic consequences of gestational ingestion of ethanol on bone, and the possible alleviating effects of folic acid supplementation.

Keywords: Ethanol, folic acid, bone mineralisation, rat

Annals of African Medicine Vol.2(1) 2003: 17-21

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-3519