Effect of consumption of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Azadirachta inidca prenatally and postnatally on milk creamatocrit and early growth of offspring
Background: Aqueous extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn. (HS) and Azadirachta indica A. juss (AI) are widely used in Nigeria for medicinal purposes and have been shown to affect postnatal growth of offspring. Breast milk creamatocrit is a simple accurate inexpensive technique and useful measure of lipid and energy content of breast milk. No data has shown effects of these extracts on breast milk creamatocrit and early postnatal growth of offspring. This study was designed to investigate effects of HS and AI on breast milk creamatocrit and early postnatal growth of offspring.
Materials and Methods: 40 pregnant rats weighing 150-200g were used for this study. They were divided into control, HS and AI groups. These groups were subdivided into two of low and high doses. Administration was by gavage and commenced on day 1 of pregnancy and ended on postnatal day 21. Litter weight and length were recorded at birth, postnatal days 7-21. Breast milk was collected from 4 dams in each group at postnatal days 7-21 for milk creamatocrit.
Results: Results showed that aqueous extract of HS and AI caused progressive increase in milk creamatocrit during lactation. This increase peaked greatly in the third week of lactation. There was also a progressive increase in BMI of pups in extract treated group that became significantly greater at weaning.
Conclusion: In conclusion, consumption of aqueous extracts of HS and AI during pregnancy and lactation may accelerate the postnatal growth of the offspring through mechanisms that may depend on increased breast milk creamatocrit.
Keywords: Hibiscus sabdariffa, Azadirachta indica, Breast milk creamatocrit, early postnatal growth
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