Asian Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Exposure to Sun Rays: An Investigation of Serum Micronutrient Status in Wistar Rats

Micronutrients are important elements/biomolecules in the body known for the vital roles they play in numerous metabolic processes in the body. Whereas, depleted serum levels of micronutrients are always associated with inadequate intake, altered levels can also result from increased oxidative stress. Ultraviolet rays of the sun are an example of an agent capable of inducing oxidative stress. Therefore the effect of ultraviolet rays of the sun on serum micronutrient levels in female Wistar rats is being investigated. Fourteen female Wistar rats of average weight of 235 g used for the study were divided into 2 groups of 7 rats each. Seven of the rats constituted the sun-exposed group and the other seven rats served as control. The control rats were kept in cages at ambient temperature of 26°C. Sun-exposed rats were left in an open field for 4 hours each day. The study lasted for a period of 6 weeks. Blood was collected from each rat by retro-orbital bleeding and the serum obtained was used for micronutrient levels. Serum levels of water and lipid-soluble vitamins were determined using High Performance Liquid Chromatographic technique (HPLC). Serum concentrations of trace elements were quantified using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometric method. Data were subjected to statistical analysis using the Student’s test. The level of statistical significance was established at P ≤ 0.05. Of all the micronutrients measured only thiamine, vitamin A, and pantothenic acid as well as minerals such as zinc, manganese and copper were significantly lower in sun exposed rats compared with control. From the results of this study, it seems apparent that sun-exposure is capable of altering serum micronutrient levels in a nocturnal animal species.

Author(s): Iyanda AA