Objective: This study was aimed at investigating the nutritional and haematological benefits of consumption of graded doses of Icacina senegalensis tuber flours.
Method: The tuber was processed by fermenting in water at room temperature (1:3 w/v,) for 3 days, thereafter rinsed in clean water and divided into two portions. The first portion was oven dried at 40oC for 48 hours and blended into flour (SD); the second was further boiled in water (1:3, w/v) for 1 hour, strained, oven dried at 40oC for 48 hours and blended into flour (SB). Six diets containing 10, 20, and 30 percents of these two flours were formulated with normal rat chow (SD10, SD20, and SD30; SB10, SB20, and SB30). Forty- two young Wister rats were divided into seven groups (n=6). Group one was fed with normal rat chow while groups 2 to 7 were fed with the respective formulated diets, for 30 days. Body weight of the animals was taken before and at the end of the feeding experiment. The animals were sacrificed and serum and whole blood samples obtained for biochemical and haematological analyses respectively, using standard methods.
Results: The results showed increased body weight (9-31g) in SD groups but weight loss (-10 to -14g) in SB groups. There were significant improvements (p<0.05) blood glucose and total protein concentrations in all the test groups. Also, there were improvements (non-significant) in red blood cell counts and red blood cell indices; while the Platelet and white blood cell count decreased significantly (p<0.05) in all experimental groups compared to the control group.
Conclusion: Icacina senegalensis tuber flours reported to contain high levels of carbohydrate, fibre and energy, caused improvement in nutritional status, RBCs and RBC indices of rodent model used. Hence the tuber can be used as a nutrient supplement for humans and livestock.
Nutritional, haematological-indices, Icacina senegalensis, Tuber flours