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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 114-120

The effect of aspartame ingestion in pregnant female albino rats on placental and fetal weights, umbilical cord length, and histology of fetal pancreas

Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Azza M.M Aboshanady
Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, kafr elhema, Tanta, Gharbiya, 31776
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DOI: 10.4103/tmj.tmj_5_18

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Background and aim Sugar is one of the commonest causes of weight gain and diabetes. Aspartame is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners worldwide to replace sugar. This study aimed to study the effects of aspartame in pregnant female albino rats on fetal and placental weights, length of umbilical cord, and possible histological changes in fetal pancreas. Materials and methods Thirty-six adult female albino rats and nine adult male albino rats weighing between 220 and 250 g were used. Each four female rats were housed with one male rat to allow mating. Pregnant rats were divided into three groups (n=12 each): control group (group І), low-dose-treated group (group ІІ), and high-dose-treated group (group ІІІ). The low-dose-treated group received 14 mg/kg aspartame and the high-dose-treated group received 40 mg/kg aspartame daily from the first day of pregnancy to the 20th day of pregnancy. Results This study showed a highly significant reduction of maternal weight gain, placental weight, fetal weight, and umbilical cord length in both aspartame-treated groups. Fetal pancreas showed histopathological changes in both aspartame-treated groups as evidenced by light and electron microscopy. All the results in this study were dose related. Conclusion The use of aspartame during pregnancy might reduce fetal and placental weights and umbilical cord length and alter the histology of fetal pancreas.

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