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Background: The consumption of tiger nut has often been relegated only to the poor due to its affordability.
Aim: This study is therefore aimed at assessing its effect on haematological parameters in Wistar rats.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-four adult Wistar rats were divided into four groups of six each. Animals in group A were administered normal saline solution while those in groups B, C and D were administered 1, 2 and 4 mL/kg body weight of undiluted tiger nut milk respectively for twenty-eight days. The administration was done 12 hourly via the oral route. At the end of the administration, the rats were sacrificed after an overnight fast under diethyl ether as anesthesia. Blood samples were collected via cardiac puncture. Haematological parameters were determined using standard methods.
Results: A dose-dependent increase was observed in packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb), red blood cell (RBC) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) of animals treated with tiger nut milk when compared with those in animals in the control group. The increase was significant (p<0.05) at all instances except in the PCV of animals treated with 1 mL/kg body weight of tiger nut milk that were not significantly different from those in control animals. However, tiger nut milk had no significant (p<0.05) effect on mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) when compared with those in control animals. Tiger nut milk administration was observed to increase white blood cell (WBC), lymphocyte, neutrophil and platelet in a dose-dependent manner when experimental animals were compared with those in the control group. The increase was significant (p<0.05) at all instances except in the lymphocyte and neutrophil of animals treated with 1 mL/kg body weight of tiger nut milk that were not significantly (p<0.05) different from those in control animals.
Conclusion: Results of this present study indicate that tiger nut possesses haematopoietic properties and can be used to boost blood levels especially in anaemia patients. Furthermore, the plant possessed the ability to boost the immune system and thus defend the body against xenobiotics.
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