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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hypoglycemic effect of Sclerocarya birrea [(A. Rich.) Hochst.] [Anacardiaceae] stem-bark aqueous extract in rats

J A O Ojewole
Phytomedicine 2003, 10 (8): 675-81
14692729
This study was undertaken to evaluate the hypoglycemic effect of Sclerocarya birrea [(A. Rich.) Hochst.] subspecies caffra (Sond.) Kokwaro [family: Anacardiaceae] stem-bark aqueous extract in normal (normoglycemic) and in streptozotocin (STZ)-treated, diabetic Wistar rats. In one set of experiments, graded doses of S. birrea stem-bark aqueous extract (SB, 100-800 mg/kg p.o.) were separately administered to groups of fasted normal and fasted diabetic rats. In another set of experiments, a single dose of the plant aqueous extract (SB, 800 mg/kg p.o.) was used. The hypoglycemic effect of this single dose (SB, 800 mg/kg p.o.) of S. birrea stem-bark aqueous extract was compared with that of chlorpropamide (250 mg/kg p.o.) in both fasted normal and fasted diabetic rats. Following acute treatment, relatively moderate to high doses of S. birrea stem-bark extract (SB, 100-800 mg/kg p.o.) produced dose-dependent, significant reductions (P < 0.05-0.001) in the blood glucose concentrations of both fasted normal and fasted diabetic rats. Chlorpropamide (250 mg/kg p.o.) also produced significant reductions (P < 0.05-0.001) in the blood glucose concentrations of the fasted normal and fasted diabetic rats. Administrations of the single dose of S. birrea stem-bark aqueous extract (SB, 800 mg/kg p.o.) significantly reduced (P 0.01 < 0.001) the blood glucose levels of both fasted normal (normoglycemic) and fasted STZ-treated, diabetic rats. The results of this experimental animal study indicate that aqueous extract of Sclerocarya birrea possesses hypoglycemic activity, and thus lend credence to the suggested folkloric use of the plant in the management and/or control of adult-onset, type-2 diabetes mellitus in some African communities.

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