Child malnutrition is a severe public health problem in Africa as a whole and Cameroon in particular. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of Stephania abyssinica leaf powder as a nutritional supplement to treat protein-energy malnutrition in immature rats. The proximate composition of S. abyssinica leaves was assayed using standard methods. The 21 days old weaned rats were fed with low protein diet (2.5%) during 28 consecutive days. They were further fed with either normal diet (20% protein) or 2.5% protein diet supplemented each with S. abyssinica leaves powder at different doses (110 mg/kg, 220 mg/kg and 440 mg/kg) for 28 days. The establishment of protein-energy malnutrition and the recovery of rats following treatment were evaluated by determining, hematological parameter and transaminases activity. The proximate composition of S. abyssinica leaves showed that they are made up of 95.30% dry matter. Dry matter analysis revealed that it contains 27.54% crude proteins, 4.41% lipids, 54.12% carbohydrates and 9.23% ash content. S. abyssinica leaves as food supplement significantly improved the animal’s health and immune system.
S. abyssinica could be useful as food supplement to fight and prevent infant malnutrition as the powder displayed no toxicity on liver.
Protein-energy malnutrition, immune system, Immune nutritional status, Stephania abyssinica