An In-vivo study to assess the growth performance of Moringa Oleifera leaves and grains of Amaranthus dubius on young Wistar rats
Naigino, Anne Asta Nakoberaina
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Acute childhood malnutrition remains a big burden in Uganda at the moment with its prevalence being highest in Northern Uganda and this depicts this issue as a major hindrance to societal development thus creating the urgency to understand its causes and find possible solutions to address it. For a developing country like Uganda, childhood malnutrition can be best addressed sustainably by blending locally available staple foods like maize flour with nutrient-dense plant sources such as the grains of Amaranthus in order to produce fortified products such as the fortified rat pellets being made in this research project. In this research, the first objective was to formulate two rat feeds one enriched with Moringa oleifera leaf powder and the other with Amaranthus dubius grain powder and the following formulations were developed. The pellets containing MOLP contained 31% MOLP and 69% maize bran while those containing ADGP contained 80% ADGP and 20% maize bran. The second objective was to assess the growth effects of the enriched feed on the rats which were achieved through measuring body weights throughout the experiment and the group feeding on MOLP pellets exhibited the best performance. In order to achieve the second objective, a feeding trial was carried out on 12 young wistar rats about 2 months old for 15 days in. They were divided into four groups with Group 1 feeding on MOLP formulated pellets; Group 2 on ADGP formulated pellets, Group 3 on standard commercial pellets as a first control and Group 4 on purely maize bran as the second control. Water was provided adlibtum and feeding was done every 3 days with body weights being measured before giving new feed. After the 15 days, the rats from each group were sacrificed and sera collected to be used to run the biochemistry tests later on so as to assess the safety of the feeds. The rat pellets formulated with MOLP had the best growth promoting effects at the end of the experiment but showed some signs of toxicity therefore further studies should be done on its chronic and sub chronic toxicity effects and clinical trials done before the feed can be used in humans.