The effect of different cassava (Manihot utilissima) components on liver function of male Wistar rats
Introduction: Liver is the main organ in vertebrates that is responsible for metabolism of substances ingested. Cassava is a rich source of carbohydrate that provides calories for many Nigerians. It is grossly deficient in protein, fat, some minerals and vitamins. The effect of consumption of the different cassava components on the liver function of Wistar rats was studied. Material and Method: Male rats (n=28) with weights between 165g-260g were randomly selected and assigned into three experimental groups and one control group of n=7 per group. The rats in the experimental groups were fed with normal rat chow with inclusion of 50% different cassava components thoroughly mixed with the feeds on a daily basis for eight weeks. The control group received equal amount of normal rat chow daily without the inclusion of any cassava components for the same period. All the rats had access to water ad libitum. The rats were sacrificed after 8 weeks of the experiment. Blood samples were collected for estimation of liver function. Result and Discussion: Average values of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatise (ALP), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), conjugated bilirubin (CB) and total bilirubin (TB) were recorded for each group and compared among the groups. It was observed that there were no statistically significant differences in the parameters investigated except the level of AST which increased in the experimental group fed with inclusion of 50% popo gari and starch in their diet but decreased in the other experimental group, conjugated bilirubin decreased in the experimental groups and the total bilirubin level decreased statistically in the experimental groups fed normal chow with inclusion of 50% popo gari and gari in their diet but no statistically significant difference in the group with inclusion of 50% starch in their diet when compared with the control group. Conclusion: This percentage used may not have adverse effect on liver function.
Key words: Gari, liver function, popo gari, starch