Parquetina nigrescens leaf infusion: a food-based approach for the management of diet-induced iron deficiency in weanling rats
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals needed by the body in minute amount and whose impact on the body’s health is vital. Hence, deficiency in any one of them could cause severe and even life-threatening conditions. Deficiency in iron is the most common micronutrient deficiency and is prevalent in children and pregnant women. The infused extracts of Parquetina nigrescens (PN) leaf were used in the management of iron deficiency in weanling rats to provide a food-based approach strategy that is readily accessible, affordable, and acceptable to the low-income population who are more susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies. Diet-induced iron-deficient weanling rats (55.0 ± 10.0) g was administered infused extracts (PN, PN+ ginger PN+ lemongrass, PN+ milk) of PN at 1000 mg/kg body weight for 28 days. The haemoglobin concentration of rats administered PN extract was significantly (p < 0.05) increased compared to the control. Serum protein assay indicated administration of PN extract reduced significantly (p < 0.05) concentrations of Divalent Metal Transporter 1, transferrin, ferroportin, and increased hepcidin and ferritin concentrations. Higher concentrations of flavonoids in the PN extract are proposed to support its haematopoietic activity alongside its ascorbic acid content. The infused extract of PN showed better haematopoietic activity when taken alone than when additives were added.
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