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The effect of an aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa on gestational weight gain, pregnancy outcome and postpartum weight retention in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats
Pregnancy and increased gestational weight gain has been observed to be associated with increased postpartum weight retention. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of an aqueous extract of Hibiscus Sabdariffa (HSE) on gestational weight gain, pregnancy outcome and postpartum weight retention in Sprague-Dawley rats. Fifteen pregnant SD rats were randomly assigned to groups A, B and C. Group C had tap water while groups A and B had 0.6g HSE and 1.8g HSE respectively in 100ml tap water to drink throughout pregnancy and through 34 days postpartum. The rats in all groups were fed normal rat chow ad libitum. The weights of the rats were measured daily throughout pregnancy and at delivery and at 10, 14, 20 and 34 days postpartum. Results show statistically significant (p<0.05) reduction in weight gained during pregnancy by dams in groups A and B without statistical significant difference in postpartum weight retained at 10, 14 and 20 days postpartum compared with control dams. However, at 34 days postpartum, weights retained by groups A and B dams were significantly (p<0.05) greater than weights retained by control dams. There was also a significant reduction (p<0.05) in the litter size of group B dams and a significant increase (p<0.05) in litter weights of group A dams compared with control dams. There was no significant difference in the gestational lengths among the groups. We conclude that exposure to an aqueous extract of HS during pregnancy affects pregnancy outcome and increases postpartum weight retention in SD rats.
Keywords: Hibiscus sabdariffa, gestational weight gain, pregnancy outcome, postpartum weight retention
Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 5 (2) 2006: 26-29