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Epidemiological reports have linked chronic cassava (Manihot esculenta crantz) consumption with diabetes mellitus. Increased activity of Polyol pathway, an alternate route for glucose metabolism has been documented as a complication of diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to investigate the concentration of polyols in the blood of rats fed on cassava diets, a local staple in Nigeria and other West African Countries. The concentration of polyols was studied in 64 freshly weaned albino rats. Three experimental diets containing graded concentrations of garri, a cassava product and one control containing rice in place of garri were formulated with local foodstuff. The animals (experimental and control) were fed ad libitum on corresponding diets for eight weeks. From the fifth week, blood samples were collected from the animals and used for sorbitol, fructose and glucose determinations and this continued till the eight-week. The results showed no significant difference between rats on experimental and control diets (P>0.05). The results suggest that cassava may not cause increased concentration of polyols as previously reported in diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Polyols, rats, diabetes.