Evaluation of Calabash Chalk Effects on Selected Enzymes and Histology of Rat Liver and Kidney

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M. O. Nafiu
L. A. Alli
J. A Aniah


Consumption of geophagic material (Calabash chalk or Nzu) as a remedy for morning sickness is a common practice among pregnant women in Eastern part of Nigeria with attendant possible health implication. This study is designed to evaluate the effects of calabash chalk on some enzymes and histopathology of rat liver and kidney. Thirty-five albino rats were randomly divided into seven groups of 5 rats each. Group A received 10 ml/kg body weight of distilled water, groups B, D and F received 150, 250 and 500 mg/kg b.w of unprocessed calabash chalk respectively, while groups C, E and G were administered 150, 250 and 500 mg/kg b.w of processed calabash chalk respectively. Treatments were administered orally for 28 days. On 29th day, all animals were sacrificed; assays of AST, ALT, GGT and ALP were carried out, followed by liver and kidney histology. Significant increase in activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was observed in the serum, at 500 mg/kg in liver and 250 and 500 mg/kg in kidney except at 500 mg/kg for the unprocessed. However, activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in serum, liver and kidney were unaffected. Significant reduction was observed in gamma-glutamyl transeferase (GGT) activity only at 500 mg/kg b.w for the processed while all doses produced reduction in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Histological changes, such as central vein dilatation in the liver and interstitial fibrosis with areas of necrosis were observed in the kidneys. Hence, consumption of calabash chalk may produce undesirable effect on the biological system as represented by the results and therefore must be discouraged.

Keywords: Calabash chalk, enzymes, geophagia, histopathology, Nzu.


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Nafiu, M. O., Alli, L. A., & Aniah, J. A. (2016). Evaluation of Calabash Chalk Effects on Selected Enzymes and Histology of Rat Liver and Kidney. Fountain Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.53704/fujnas.v5i1.48


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