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The effects of cooked and acid-extracted kudzu seed meals on some nutritional and blood and liver biochemical parameters were investigated. Rats fed cooked kudzu meal had significantly (p<0.01) slower rates of growth than the casein control. Cooking enhanced feed efficiency (FE) but the acid-extracted meal could not support growth resulting in negative protein efficiency ratio (PER). Serum and liver protein in kudzu-fed rats were non-significantly lower than the control (P<0.05). The kudzu meals exerted significant (P<0.05) hyperglycemic effect relative to casein. Serum and liver total lipids and cholesterol were non-significantly elevated relative to the controls. Alterations in the haematocrit were not significant, but the significantly (p<0.01) lower white blood cell (WBC) in kudzu-fed rats was inexplicable. The possible reasons and nutritional implications of these observations were briefly highlighted. It was concluded that cooked kudzu meal, with adequate amino acid supplementation, could possibly be well tolerated as protein supplement in food and animal feeding.
Keywords: African kudzu, nutritional and biochemical evaluation, blood and liver parameters, albino rats