The incidence of sodium saccharin (NaS)-associated bladder tumours in male rats increases when exposure to high doses begins in utero or at birth compared with treatment after weaning. The present experiment evaluated the effect of NaS exposure on selected physiological parameters in young second generation rats. 6-wk-old male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were placed on either a diet supplemented with 7.5% NaS or an untreated diet, and mated 4-6 wk later. Treatment was continued through lactation and the offspring were weaned on to the same diet. Body weights were significantly depressed in NaS-treated litters by 4 days after birth, and were 35% lower than controls by 30 days when the animals were killed. NaS treatment of the offspring was associated with an increase in faecal moisture content and caeal content weight, changes in several urinary analytes, a 50% increase in serum cholesterol, a 10-fold increase in serum triglycerides and decreases in serum and hepatic vitamins. In addition, NaS-treated dams and pups were anaemic. Relatively few differences between males and females were noted, but significant inter-litter differences existed. The numerous physiological changes indicate that 7.5% dietary NaS exceeds the maximum tolerated dose for weanling rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science