Effects of dietary protein quality and quantity on albino rat tissue serum protein, erythrocyte fragility and bone mineral content

  • AI Akinwande Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos, Nigeria
  • N Adekoya
  • G Akande
  • E Eyinna
  • B Ogunkoya


The study was to ascertain the effect of quality and quantity of dietary protein on body growth, organ cellular and cytoplasmic size, serum protein concentration and molecular weights, erythrocyte fragility and bone mineralisation. Diets containing 20, 17 and 15% protein were fed to Sprague Dawley Albino rats weighing about 90g for 21 days. The 20% protein diet was a commercial diet better in nutrient composition and quality than the diet containing 17 and 15% protein formulated in our laboratory. At the end of 21 days, kidney, testes, brain, pancreas, spleen and long bones ere taken for analysis. Results showed that the diet containing 20% protein supported higher body weight, liver and testes cell size (Protein/DNA and weight/DNA ratios) and cytoplasmic size (RNA/DNA ratio). The pancreas cell size, heart, brain, pancreas and spleen cytoplasmic size were not changed by dietary protein level. Plasma protein concentration and the molecular weights, percent bone cash and percent calcium in it were the same at the three levels of dietary protein. TCA soluble plasma amino acid concentration was higher at 20% dietary protein. Erythrocyte fragility was higher but erythrocyte ghost protein was lower at dietary protein below 20%.

Keywords: dietary protein, growth, serum protein, erythrocyte fragility, bone mineralisation

Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 5(1) 2006: 31-36

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eISSN: 1595-8272