The repeated bleaching of palm oil in our diets contributes to increasing the prevalence of obesity in Cameroon with negative repercussions on female sexual function. This study compared the effects of three oxidised palm oil diets on estrous cycle and sexual behaviour in rats. 44 female rats with 5 consecutive regular estrous cycles were selected, divided into 4 groups (n=11) and treated for 125 days a standard diet; 30% oxidised palm oil; 30% oxidised palm oil + 5g boiled egg yolk and 30% oxidised palm oil + 10% sucrose respectively. Throughout the experiment, morphometric profile, estrous cycle and sexual behaviour parameters were evaluated. After sacrifice, the adipose tissue mass, biochemical parameters, histology and histomorphometric parameters were examined in the ovaries and the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) of the hypothalamus. Hyperlipidic diets induced obesity in female rats by increasing BMI, Lee’s index, abdominal circumference and decreasing relative stool mass. Moreover, irregularity and lengthening of the estrous cycle phases, decrease in “appetite” and “consumption” behaviours, dyslipidaemia, oxidative stress and alteration of the neuronal and ovarian architecture were also observed in animals fed with the three hyperlipidic diets (p<0.05-0.001) compared to control. This results indicate that the 30% oxidised palm oil+10% sucrose diet induced the highest damages on the female estrous cycle and sexual behavior which could be attributed to the alteration of AVPV nucleus neurons by obesity. In the notshell, the above informations could be suitable for the management of women suffering from sexual dysfunction pertaining to obesity.
Key words: Palm oil, obesity, estrous cycle, sexual behaviour, AVPV nucleus, female rat