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N Am J Med Sci. 2010 Mar;2(3):134-7. doi: 10.4297/najms.2010.3134.

Histological effects of long term consumption of nutmeg on the medial geniculate body of adult Wistar rats.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Nigeria.



Nutmeg is commonly used as a spice in various dishes, as components of teas and soft drinks or mixed in milk and alcohol. The effect of chronic consumption of nutmeg on the medial geniculate body of adult Wistar rats was carefully studied.


The objective is to observe any possible histological changes.


Rats of both sexes (n = 24), with average weight of 200g were equally and randomly assigned into two treatment groups [A] and [B]; and untreated Control group [C] of (n = 8) per group. The rats in the treatment groups [A] and [B] were respectively given 1g and 2g of nutmeg thoroughly mixed with the feeds on a daily basis for thirty-two days. The control group received equal amount of feeds daily without nutmeg added for the thirty-two days period. All rats were fed with grower's mash and given water liberally. The rats were sacrificed by cervical dislocation method on day thirty-three of the experiment, medial geniculate body was carefully dissected out from the brain and quickly fixed in 10% formol-saline for histological study.


The findings indicate that rats in the treated groups (A & B) showed some cellular degenerative changes like hypertrophy, sparse cellular population, pyknotic nuclei with some microcystic changes, and vacuolation in the stroma of the treated medial geniculate body relative to those in the control group.


Long term consumption of nutmeg may have adverse effect on microanatomy of medial geniculate body, which could negatively impact on the auditory sensibilities. Further research, including human observational studies, aimed at corroborating these observations is recommended.


Medial geniculate body; microanatomy; nutmeg toxicity

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