Determination of Risk of Birth Defects Associated with three herbal bitter Formulations Administered during Organogenesis in female Albino rats
The use of herbal bitters gained its stay since ages and they are prone to abuse by the general public including pregnant women. In this study we investigate possible birth defects associated with the use of herbal bitters, three popular bitter formulations in Nigeria herberceutical market were studied during organogenesis stage in female rats. Forty Female rats weighing (187.5g ± 41.48) were divided into four groups of ten in each group: Group A, for Control group; B for Bitters B; C for Bitters C and D for Bitters D, administered from 6-17th day of their gestation period. The administration of bitters was carried out within 11-12days. Five female rats in each group were randomly selected and sacrificed on the 20th day prior to 21st day of gestation. The fetuses were harvested through abdominal incision for morphological examination, biochemical and haematological analysis. The liver, kidney and brain of these 1st filial rats sacrificed were subjected to further histopathological examination. The results obtained in this study at (p ≤ 0.05) level of significance revealed significant difference in the morphological parameters examined. There was also statistically significant increase in the RBC, WBC and platelet at (p ≤ 0.05) concentrations as compared with control group. . The biochemical examination (ALT and AST) for the treatment groups revealed a significant elevation (p≤0.05).Oral ingestion of these bitters were teratogenic to the growing fetus. Thus, recommended that they should be avoided at all stages in pregnancy.
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