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Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer. Its toxicity in a malnourished state appears not to have been fully investigated. This study was carried out to determine the effects of MSG on malnourished rats. Rats were randomly assigned into four groups of five rats/group. Group 1 rats were fed with malnourished feed; Group 2 rats received malnourished feed with dosed 1.6 mg/g MSG per body weight; Group 3 rats were fed with normal feed and dosed 1.6 mg/g MSG per body weight and Group 4 rats served as the control group (normal healthy rats) and were fed with normal feed for 28 days. After 28 days, the rats were sacrificed with the liver harvested and blood samples collected. Results from the study showed that malnourished rats had significantly lower levels of oxidative stress biomarkers including, anti-oxidants compared with the control. The levels of malondialldehyde concentration and xanthine oxidase activity were high in malnourished fed rats. Aspartate aminotransferase and alanine transaminase levels of malnourished and normal rats administered MSG were significantly low compared to the normal healthy suggesting that labialization occurs in liver leading to leakage of these enzymes from the liver to the serum. Malnourished rats showed significant decrease in body weight losing 48 grams after 28 days compared to malnourished and normal rats fed with MSG which recorded significant increase in body weight after 28 days adding 26 g and 42 g respectively.
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