Thermoxidized Palm Oil Induces reproductive Toxicity in Healthy and Malnourished Rats

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Repeatedly thermoxidized palm oil (TPO), simulating local culinary practice, was fed for eight weeks at 15% of a balanced basal diet to two sets of male and female weanling albino rats of Wistar strain. The first set of animals were normal and healthy while the second set were kwashiorkoric. Primary controls (PC) of all rats were fed a balanced basal diet of commercial rat pellets while secondary controls (SC) were fed the balanced basal diet supplemented with 15% untreated palm oil. The findings indicate that fertility, as expressed by the pregnancy rate of healthy test rats, was 78% when compared with 80% in PC (p < 0.05). Fetotoxicity was additionally observed in that neonatal birth weights and litter size in test rats (4.92 g and 6.70, respectively) were inferior (p < 0.05) to both SC and PC (4.96 g and 8.40; 5.38 g and 9.25, respectively). Protein energy malnutrition worsened the observed TPO-induced reproductive toxicities in that reproductive capacities of the rehabilitated animals were inferior to that of the healthy animals. Pregnancy rates in test animals were reduced by as much as 55% (p < 0.01) while fetotoxicities were also more pronounced (p < 0.05).

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