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Paraquat (PQ) is one of the most used herbicide globally; applied around trees in orchards and between crop rows to control broad-leaved and grassy weeds. Its oxidation results in the formation of superoxides which causes damage to cellular components. In this study, we determined the antioxidant effect vitamin C has on hemograms [hemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume (PCV) and total white blood cells count] of rats under these toxic insults. The animals grouped (A-D), comprising subgroups without vitamin C (A1, B1, C1, D1) and subgroups on vitamin C (A2, B2, C2, D2), received different sub-lethal doses of PQ administered intraperitoneally monthly to the animals over a period of three months. The Hb values obtained were significantly reduced (P≤0.05) at month 1 and (P≤0.001) at months 2 and 3. These changes became more pronounced with increased dose and time. Vitamin C treated subgroups (B2, C2 and D2) had better Hb values than those without it (B1, C1 and D1) but the values were still significantly low when compared to the control subgroups (A1 and A2). This same trend was observed in the PCV results obtained. The Control subgroups showed that vitamin C treated subgroup (A2) had a more improved hemogram values than subgroup on water only (A1), but they were all higher than that of the test subgroups. These PQ induced anaemia were ameliorated by the subsequent administration of vitamin C, and continuous treatment with vitamin C restored the health status of the animals so treated.
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