Objectives: This study examines the metabolic consequences of saponin and flavonoid extracts of Gongronema latifolium leaves in rat offspring whose mothers consumed sucrose during breastfeeding.
Methods: Thirty-two female albino Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control group, given water only: sucrose group, given sucrose solution only; flavonoid groups, given sucrose solution and 100 mg/kg b.w. and 200 mg/kg b.w. of flavonoid and saponin groups, given sucrose solution and 100 mg/kg b.w. and 200 mg/kg b.w. of saponin extracts, for 3 weeks during lactation. Then the body, hepatic and pancreatic weights, food intake, glucose tolerance, lipid profile, insulin, and leptin levels of their offspring were measured.
Results: There was a significant decrease in the body weight (BW), food intake, and glucose level among the flavonoid and saponin groups compared to the control group. However, when compared to the sucrose group, there was a significant decrease in food intake, blood glucose level, triglyceride, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and a significant increase in the BW. There was no significant difference in insulin and leptin levels, hepatic, and pancreatic weights among groups.
Conclusion: This study shows that G. lactifolium consumption among lactating rats maintains metabolic homeostatic as it protects against elevated blood glucose level and dyslipidemia in offspring post-weaning. It also suggests that the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties of G. latifolium maybe as a result of saponin and flavonoids inherent in the plant.
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