The effect of supplementing mice basal diet with solar dried indigenous vegetable food formulation on growth and immune indicators in Kiambu, Kenya.
Nyamu, Samuel N.
Thoruwa, C. L.
MetadataShow full item record
Kenya and other African countries are facing food and nutritional insecurity. Indigenous green leafy vegetables are of much importance among food crops as they reduce food insecurity, provide adequate amount of vitamins, immune boosting trace element and anti-oxidants. The nutritional value of the indigenous vegetable remains underutilized due to lack of awareness and appropriate technology for their effective use. The aim of the present work was to study effect of supplementing mice basal diet with solar dried indigenous vegetables rich in beta-carotene, iron and zinc food formulation on growth and immune indicators. The indigenous food supplement comprised of solar dried Gynandropsis gnandra (spider plant), Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin leaves) and Agaricus bisporus (button mushroom). Growth performance, feed efficiency and hematological parameters were determined using mice bioassay. The mice were fed with basal diet added either 25%, 50% or 75% prepared food supplement. The control was fed only basal diet. The results of bioassay showed the group fed with 25% of the prepared food supplement had the highest feed efficiency with a value of 6.96%, There was an increase in white blood cells, lymphocytes and monocytes on the group of animals fed with 25% of the indiginous vegetable supplement as compared to control, however the change was not statistically significant different (p<0.05). Inclusion of 25% of the solar dried indigenous vegetables mix in the basal diet gave the most promising results compared with 50% and 75%. The study findings promote the use of solar dried indiginous vegetables to provide low levels of zinc, iron and beta-carotene to fight malnutrition and increase immunity. The result show that taking a high percent of solar dried vegetables compared to other food rich in carbohydrate and protein may not improve immunity.