International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Evaluation of the toxicity of cyanogens in a commonly consumed Nigeria legume pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) seed and its biochemical effects in rabbits

LA Nwaogu, AA Emejulu


The effect of a commonly consumed Nigeria legume pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) seeds with high cyanogen concentration on some important biochemical parameters and haemoglobin concentration in new
Zealand rabbits was investigated over a period of 72 hours. Quantitative analysis of the legume seed revealed that it has in mg/100g dry weight 39.3+1.30 cyanogenic glycosides, 11.57+1.20 phytate, 28.58+1.02 oxalate and 3.80+0.01 Tiu/100g dry weight typsin inhibitor respectively. Analysis of the serum and urine samples from test and control rabbits indicated that there was no significant difference (p£ 0.05) in the concentrations of total protein, bilirubin, inorganic phosphate and creatinine. There was a slight decrease in the activities of alkaline
phosphatase. However, the activities of serum transaminases: alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate amino transferase (AST) as well as cyanide concentration increased significantly (P£±0.05). Cyanide concentration in the serum increased from 5 to 27 mg/l and that in the urine from 3.5 to 26mg/l in the rabbits fed with commercial feed when compared to those fed with Cajanus cajan formulated feed. The study revealed that consumption of Cajanus cajan seed made pulses occasionally would not result to cyanide toxicity.
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