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N Am J Med Sci. 2010 Apr;2(4):189-92. doi: 10.4297/najms.2010.2189.

Histological effects of oral administration of nutmeg on the kidneys of adult Wister rats.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.



The effects of oral administration of nutmeg commonly used as spice in various dishes, as components of teas and soft drinks or mixed in milk and alcohol on the kidneys of adult Wistar rats were carefully studied.


Rats of both sexes (n = 24), with average weight of 220g were randomly assigned into two treatments (A & B) of (n=16) and Control (c) (n=8) groups. The rats in the treatment groups (A & B) received 0.1g (500mg/kg body weight) and 0.2g (1000mg/kg body weight) of nutmeg thoroughly mixed with the feeds respectively on a daily basis for forty-two days. The control group (c) received equal amount of feeds daily without nutmeg added for forty-two days. The growers' mash feeds was obtained from Edo Feeds and Flour Mill Limited, Ewu, Edo state, Nigeria and the rats were given water liberally. The rats were sacrificed by cervical dislocation on the forty-third day of the experiment. The kidneys were carefully dissected out and quickly fixed in 10% buffered formaldehyde for routine histological study after hematoxylin and eosin method.


The histological findings in the treated sections of the kidneys showed distortion of the renal cortical structures, vacuolations appearing in the stroma and some degree of cellular necrosis, with degenerative and atrophic changes when compared to the control group.


These findings indicate that oral administration of nutmeg may have some deleterious effects on the kidneys of adult Wistar rats at higher doses and by extension may affect its excretory and other metabolic functions. It is recommended that caution should therefore be advocated in the intake of this product and further studies be carried out to examine these findings.


Nutmeg; degenerative changes; histological effect; kidneys; vacuolations and Wistar rats

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