Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences

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Calcium-rich diet and vitamin D supplementation improve lipid profiles and reduce atherogenic index in high salt fed male Wistar rat

O.E. Ofem, U.E. Okon, G.O. Ujong, O.S. Ekam


Summary: To ascertain the effect of calcium rich diet and/ or vitamin D supplementation on atherogenic parameters in high salt loaded rats. Thirty male rats were randomly assigned into five groups of six rats each, namely; control; salt only; salt + Calcium; salt + Vit. D and salt + Vit. D + Calcium. High salt diet constituted 8% NaCl diet + 1% NaCl drinking water, while calcium diet was made from 2.5% CaCl2 diet. Serum lipids and atherogenic indices were estimated using standard laboratory procedures. The control rats took normal rodent chow, the feeding lasted 6 weeks. Rats fed high salt diet only had significantly (p<0.05) reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, however this was significantly (p<0.05) increased upon treatment with calcium rich diet and vitamin D supplementation. The high salt groups placed on Vit. D and/or calcium diet supplementation had a significant (p<0.05) decrease in low density lipoproteins, total cholesterol and atherogenic indices (cardiac risk ratio, atherogenic coefficient and atherogenic index of plasma) compared to the group fed on high salt only. These results suggest the ameliorative potentials of calcium rich diets and vitamin D supplementation against atherogenic tendencies and possibly cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Calcium rich diet, vitamin D, serum lipids, atherogenic indices, high salt loading

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