Maternal protein-calorie deficiency is an important public health problem in developing countries. In north-eastern Brazil the diet that is consumed by the population living in the area of sugar cane cultivation is known as "regional basic diet" (deficient in proteins, calories, fat, vitamins and minerals)
Four groups of pregnant rats were formed: Group A (casein feeding (control diet) without exposure), group B (casein feeding and electromagnetic field exposure), group C (regional basic diet feeding without exposure) and group D (regional basic diet feeding and electromagnetic field exposure). Reflexes were daily investigated from the second day after birth.
Only male newborn rats (n=66) were investigated.
The rats were divided into four groups: Group A composed of rats that consumed casein without being exposed to EMF; Group B composed of rats that consumed casein and were exposed to EMF; Group C composed of rats that consumed regional basic diet (RBD) and were not exposed to EMF; Group D composed of rats that consumed RBD and were exposed to EMF.
|Setup||Two rats were placed in a cage (60 cm long x 50 cm wide and 22 cm high) which was placed on a polystyrene support (35 cm wide x 50 cm long x 35 cm high). A transformer was placed below the supports for exposure. The EMF inside the cage was uniform irrespective of its position.|
|Sham exposure||A sham exposure was conducted.|
|Additional info||The rats in the exposure groups were exposed when pregnancy was detected and removed when they gave birth.|
|magnetic flux density||3 µT||unspecified||measured||-||-|
Six out of seven reflexes were delayed by the underfeeding. Electromagnetic field exposure caused a delay in three reflexes (palm grasp, cliff avoidance, free-fall rigthing) in the groups fed casein and it caused a delay in palm grasp reflex in the groups fed regional basic diet.