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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 107-110

Evaluation of calabash chalk effect on femur bone morphometry and mineralization in young wistar rats: A pilot study

1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria
2 Department of Anatomy, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Moses B Ekong
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-516X.106352

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Background: Calabash chalk, a popularly consumed geophagic material in Nigeria has been reported to contain lead, arsenic, alpha lindane, endrin, and endosulfan 11 among other pollutants. Aim: The continuous exposure of young children to this chalk necessitated this study on the bone morphometry and mineralization in young Wistar rats. Materials and Methods: Fourteen young (weanling) Wistar rats of both sexes weighing 54-72 g were assigned into two groups of seven animals each. Group I served as control, while group II was the test group (TG). 40 mg/ml of C. chalk was administered as suspension to the test animals in group II. Animals in the control group were orally treated with 1ml of distilled water. Administration of the C. chalk in the animals lasted for 28 days, and the animals were sacrificed on day 29, using chloroform anaesthesia. The femur bones were dissected out, cleaned of flesh and sun-dried. The lengths and weights of the femur bones were measured using graphite furnace atomic mass spectrophotometer. Results: Results showed 1.6% decrease in body weight change in the TG, insignificant decreases in the weights and lengths of both the right and left femur bones, and significant decreased (P < 0.0126) organ-somatic index, and femur bones concentrations (mg/l) of zinc, phosphate, carbonate, calcium, sodium, and potassium (P < 0.05). Conclusion: In conclusion, this study showed that C. chalk may alter growth rate, and cause de-mineralization in the femur bone, hence, it may be detrimental to bone growth.

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