Evaluation of the effects of calabash chalk on the haematological profile of Wistar rats
Calabash chalk is a naturally geophagic mineral composed mainly of fossilized seashells or an artificial preparation of a combination of clay, mud, and sand. It is one of the widely consumed earth materials in the practice of geophagia. The present study is aimed at evaluating the effects of oral administration of calabash chalk on haematological parameters and body weight using Wistar rat models. Ten (10) healthy female mice and twenty (20) adults female Wistar rats weighing 20-30 g and 160 -200 g were used for the determination of the LD50 and the experimental study respectively. Locally sourced calabash chalk was orally administered to the Wistar rats at 400, 600 and 800 mg/kg respectively for twenty-eight (28) days. Haematological parameters were determined using a standard automated procedure. The result of the study shows that there was a significant decrease in red blood cell count, haemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume, total white blood cell count, neutrophils, lymphocytes, mid-range absolute and platelet counts among the experimental groups compared to the control (p<0.05). Also, there was a significant reduction in the percentage of weight changes among the experimental animals compared to the control (p<0.05). The present study has shown that despite the wide safety margin of calabash chalk, it can depress haematopoiesis by reducing the red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet counts.
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