Effect of Aloe vera gel on some haematological parameters and serum electrolytes in high salt loaded Wistar rats
This study investigated the effect of Aloe vera gel on some haematological parameters and serum electrolytes in high salt loaded rats. Twenty (20) male Wistar rats (180-250 g) were randomly assigned into 4 groups (n=5): Control- received 0.2 ml normal saline; Aloe-received 600 mg/kg of Aloe vera gel orally once daily; Salt-fed (SF) received high salt diet (8% NaCl in feed + 1% NaCl in H2O); Saltfed-treated (SF+Aloe) received high salt diet + Aloe vera gel. All groups had access to rat feed and water throughout the duration (six weeks) of treatment. Blood samples were collected from each animal via cardiac puncture for analysis. Red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin (Hb) concentration and packed cell volume (PCV) were significantly (p<0.05) increased in SF and SF+Aloe groups compared with control and Aloe groups. Total white blood cell count was significantly (p<0.001) decreased in SF group compared with control and Aloe groups and increased (p<0.001) in SF+Aloe group compared with SF group. Neutrophil and lymphocyte counts were significantly increased and decreased respectively in SF+Aloe group compared with control (p<0.01), Aloe (p<0.05) and SF (p<0.001) groups. Na+, K+ and Cl- concentrations were significantly increased in SF and SF+Aloe group compared with control and Aloe groups. HCO3- concentration was significantly increased in Aloe and SF+Aloe groups compared with control. High salt diet (HSD) caused alterations in red cell indices and posed threat to the immune system of rats. Aloe vera could not reverse these alterations but exhibited an immune-stimulatory effect. Both Aloe vera and HSD caused electrolyte imbalance.
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