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Toxic Effect of Sub Chronic Exposure of Palm Kernel and Soya Oil In Albino Wistar Rats

Toxic Effect of Sub Chronic Exposure of Palm Kernel and Soya Oil In Albino Wistar Rats


Vegetable oils are commonly used food additives. The aim of this study was to characterize and observe the toxic effect of subchronic consumption of heated and unheated Palm Kernel and Soya Oil (after heating at 180 0C and at room temperature) in albino Wistar rats. The physicochemical properties were analyzed, sixty rats were divided into five groups of twelve rats and their baseline weight recorded.  Group 1 ( controls), received water and  feed only ,while 10 mls  of each  oil was  added  (add libitum) to 100 grams  of feed in  each  test  group  for six weeks and  twelve  weeks .  Group 2 received feed,water and unheated PKO and Group 3 received feed, water and heated PKO. Group 4 were given feed,water and unheated SO while group 5 had heated SO. The  lipid  profile  and blood glucose  were  measured  at six weeks exposure while the renal function  and  liver  function  were  determined at twelve  weeks exposure  and they were  weighed and the least, mid and the highest weight from each group were sacrificed ,and the liver, kidney and heart harvested for histological analysis. Heating the oils at 180 0C for 15 minutes caused a decrease in relative density,peroxide values, and iodine values in both the PKO and SBO and increased acid values and free fatty acids in both with no effect in the refractive index.Biochemical result showed that both heated and the unheated oil samples significantly increased the LDL levels, HPKO and UHSO caused increase in total cholesterol levels, UHPKO significantly decreased the TAG, HPKO significantly increased the ALT, HPKO significantly decreased the urea level and HSO increased the BG significantly.The histology of the liver showed that all the test samples demonstrated inflammation.UHPKO,HPKO,HSO caused distortion in hepatic architecture. UHPKO,USO, HSO all demonstrated ground glass appearance and formation of giant cells. In the histology of the kidneys,all the test samples demonstrated renal tissue loss and intra-renal haemorrhage. UHPKO,HPKO and UHSO caused renal fatty changes.HSO, UHSO caused distortion in renal architecture.HSO showed renal tissue necrosis and tubular clumping.In the heart, all test samples caused loss of myocardial tissues. UHPKO, HPKO showed intra-myocardial haemorrhage. HSO caused myocarditis,disorganization of cardiac architecture and reduction in bulk size. In conclusion, heating altered the physicochemical properties of the oils thereby decreasing their qualities,while the oils also demonstrated evidence of hyperlipidemia as well as inflammation.



1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY           

A joint WHO/FAO expert consultation on diet, nutrition and prevention of chronic disease (in  2002), recognized that the growing epidemic of chronic diseases affecting both developed and developing countries was related to dietary and life style changes.

Furthermore, rapid changes in diet and life style that have occurred with industrialization, urbanization, economic development and market globalization have accelerated over the past decade. This is having significant impact on health and nutritional status of populations, particularly in developing countries and countries in transition. While standard of living improved, food availability has expanded and become  more diversified, and access to services has increase, there have also been significant negative consequence in terms of inappropriate dietary patterns, decreased physical activities, increase tobacco use, and a corresponding increase in diet related chronic disease, especially among poor people. Because of these changes in life style patterns, chronic non communicable diseases (NCDs) – including obesity, diabetic mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and stroke, and some types of cancer are becoming increasingly significant cause of disability and premature death in both developing and newly developed countries (WHO study group, 1990).

The burden of chronic disease is rapidly increasing worldwide. It has been calculated that in 2001, chronic diseases contributed approximately 60% of the 56.5 million total reported death in the world and approximately 46% of the global burden of death (WHO report 2002). The proportion of the burden of NCDs is expected to increase to 57% by 2020, chronic disease will account for almost three quarters of all death worldwide, and that 71%bof deaths due to stroke and 70% of death due to diabetes will occur in developing countries (WHO report 1998).The number of people in the developing world with diabetes will increase by more than 2.5 fold from 84million in 1995 to 228million in 2025 (Aboderin  etal, 2001).

This increasing pandemic of non communicable/chronic diseases mandates urgent research into possible aetiopathogenic influences. Epidemiological studies show association to entity called metabolic syndrome (Qureshi et al., 2009, Love et al., 2011) and this suggests that chronic diseases may to an extent, share common genetic and/or environmental predisposing factors.

While fats are essential parts of balanced diet, there is an evidence to show that limiting hydrogenated and trans-fats intake is important.  Too much saturated and transfat contributes to the buildup of plaques inside the blood vessels via atherosclerosis and is a major cause of heart diseases.

Saturated fatty acids (SFA) and transfats increase low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in blood, which lead to plaque formation. Polysaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) reduce LDL cholesterol and increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

MUFAs are beneficial in that they increase cholesterol esterification in the liver, thereby reducing the free cholesterol pool and increasing receptor mediated uptake of LDL cholesterol, resulting in a decrease in blood cholesterol level as reported by the dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) on the dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Evidence from controlled clinical studies have shown that MUFA favourably affect a number of risk factors for coronary heart diseases (CHDs).

1.2       STATEMENT OF PROBLEM. Chronic diseases are leading cause of mortality, morbidity, disability and decrease quality of life (CSTE, 2004). It accounts for at least 65% of all death and about 84% of health spending [Anderson et al., 2010] especially in the United states.

In America, one out of four, have multiple chronic conditions with hypertension being the most condition among Medicare beneficiaries with multiple conditions.

Additionally chronic diseases are responsible for the widest health disparity gap among racial/ethnic groups. There are many known risk factors for chronic diseases, such as smoking unhealthy diet, and physical inactivities.


The increasing expansion of our drug arsenals and use of radical surgical intervention to combat these health problems is far more expensive and less rewarding than a strategy which addresses the gene environment interactions leading to immune dysfunction and hence chronic diseases, cancers and increased severity of infections. Thus identifying and avoiding genetically predisposed toxic environmental exposure is the key to improving the functions of the immune system. Hence this study is of great importance, as it will go a long way in establishing the toxicity of these commonly used oils and perhaps avoidance will help in preventing of chronic diseases.

1.4       AIM OF THE STUDY.

To investigate the toxic effect of sub chronic exposure of Palm Kernel and Soya Oil in albino Wistar rats.


  1. To determine the physicochemical characteristics of these oils at room temperature and when heated at temperature of 180 0C
  2. To investigate the sub-chronic effect of these oils on the lipid profile and blood glucose.
  3. To investigate the sub-chronic effect of these oils on the liver function parameters (albumin, ALT, AST)
  4. To investigate the sub chronic effect of these oils on the renal function parameters (urea and creatinine).
  5. To compare the incidence of organ toxicity in experimental and control rats by means of histopathological studies.


The result from this study will add knowledge to the existing literature about toxic effect of vegetable oils.

These data may be useful guide to the public in the consumption of vegetable oil.

These results will also help dieticians and physician on food avoidance counseling in prevention and management of chronic diseases.

It will also be useful for policy making in health care delivery systems.


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