Modulatory effects of Aloe vera leaf gel extract on oxidative stress in rats treated with streptozotocin

S Rajasekaran, K Sivagnanam, S Subramanian
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2005, 57 (2): 241-6
Oxidative stress is currently suggested as a mechanism underlying diabetes and diabetic-related complications. Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between radical-generating and radical-scavenging systems. Many secondary plant metabolites have been reported to possess antioxidant activity. This study was designed to evaluate the potential antioxidative activity of the ethanolic extract from Aloe vera leaf gel in the plasma and pancreas of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Glibenclamide was used as a standard reference drug. Oral administration of ethanolic extract at a concentration of 300 mg kg(-1) body weight for 21 days resulted in a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydroperoxides and alpha-tocopherol and significant improvement in ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione and insulin in the plasma of diabetic rats. Similarly, the treatment also resulted in a significant reduction in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, hydroperoxides, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase and significant improvement in reduced glutathione in the pancreas of STZ-induced diabetic rats when compared with untreated diabetic rats. The ethanolic extract appeared to be more effective than glibenclamide in controlling oxidative stress. Thus, this study confirms the ethnopharmacological use of Aloe vera in ameliorating the oxidative stress found in diabetes.

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