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Long-term ingestion of cassava (tapioca) does not produce diabetes or pancreatitis in the rat model

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Cassava (tapioca, manihot) is consumed as a staple food in some developing countries. The intake of cassava has been linked to several diseases including fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes (tropical calcific pancreatitis). There are few long-term studies on the effect of cassava ingestion on the pancreas in animal models. This article reports on the long-term (up to 1 yr) effects of cassava in the rat model.

We found that cassava did not produce diabetes in the rat even after a year of cassava feeding. There were transient changes in serum insulin and lipase levels, but the significance of these findings are not clear. There was no histopathological evidence of either acute or chronic pancreatitis, but there were changes of toxic hepatitis in the liver. In conclusion, chronic cassava ingestion up to a year does not lead to either diabetes or chronic pancreatitis in the rat model.

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Correspondence to Viswanathan Mohan.

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Mathangi, D.C., Deepa, R., Mohan, V. et al. Long-term ingestion of cassava (tapioca) does not produce diabetes or pancreatitis in the rat model. International Journal of Pancreatology 27, 203–208 (2000).

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