Blood Glucose Response of the African Cat Fish (Clarias gariepinus) to Bitter Leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) Incorporated Diet

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) | Volume VI, Issue I, January 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Blood Glucose Response of the African Cat Fish (Clarias gariepinus) to Bitter Leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) Incorporated Diet 

Alagoa, K.J* and Osakwe, J
Department of Biological Sciences,
Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

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The effect of bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) compounded diet on the blood glucose level of Clarias gariepinus was investigated. This was done to gauge the possible effect of using bitter leaf in compounded feed in ponds to regulate blood glucose levels in cultured fish. Fish were exposed to 5mg, 10mg and 15mg grounded bitter leaf mixed in 50mg fish feed. The control tank had no bitter leaf in the feed. Each treatment level and control was presented in triplicates. Blood was collected by cardiac puncture two (2) hours after exposure to the bitter leaf feed using a 21’ gauge needles and syringes. Blood samples were tested immediately using a Fine Test® blood tester machine. Result indicates that all exposure concentrations had higher blood glucose levels than the control population. There were however no significant difference (P>0.05; P=0.055, P=0.989) between the control and treatment groups of 5mg and 10mg bitter leaf meal but there is a significant difference (P<0.05; P=0.044) between control and 15mg bitter leaf meal. Therefore it can be concluded that bitter leaf causes elevation of blood sugar and therefore should be used with restraint as it can cause hyperglycemic health complications in fish and perhaps in humans. The assertion that bitter leaf controls hyperglycemia in diabetics in humans may be false and misleading.

Key Words: Bitter leaf, Blood, sugar, glucose, Clarias gariepinus, Vernonia amygdalina

1.0 Introduction

Vernonia amygdalina is a 2-5m tall plant with petiolate leaves of about 6.0mm wide. It is found largely in farmlands, forest, bush fallows, and homes (gardens) in the humid parts of the tropics of many parts of Africa (Echem and Kabari, 2013). It is used mainly in Nigeria as vegetable in the preparation of soups in the Western and Southern parts of the country. It has a bitter taste which is attributed to anti-nutritional factors and phyto-chemicals such as alkaloids, saponins, tannins and glycosides (Sobukola et al., 2006).