Prevention of type 2 diabetes induced by high fat diet in the C57BL/6J mouse by two medicinal plants used in traditional treatment of diabetes in the east of Algeria

Nawel Hamza, Bénédicte Berke, Catherine Cheze, Abdel-Nacer Agli, Philip Robinson, Henri Gin, Nicholas Moore
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2010 March 24, 128 (2): 513-8

AIM OF THE STUDY: The preventive effect of the hydro-alcoholic extracts of Artemisia herba-alba Asso (AHA), and Centaurium erythraea Rafn (CE), two medicinal plants used in traditional treatment of diabetes in the north-eastern Algeria, were evaluated in animal models of type 2 diabetic induced with a standardised high fat diet (HFD).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Plant extracts were administered orally by gavage at a dose of 2g/kg bodyweight daily for 20 weeks to male C57BL/6J mice fed HFD. Animals were weighed and plasma glucose measured weekly and insulin at the end of study using standard ELISA methods.

RESULTS: After 6 weeks, blood glucose levels increased in HFD control mice. At end of study (20 weeks) in groups treated with AHA or CE extracts vs. HFD control group there was a significant reduction in mean (+/-SD) fasting blood glucose (respectively 108.0+/-42.0 and 120.4+/-45.1 vs. 183.1+/-19.1mg/dl, p<0.05), triglyceride concentrations (26.9+/-6.7 and 27.9+/-17.8 vs. 48.9+/-12.1mg/dl, p<0.05) and serum insulin levels (1.1+/-1.0 and 0.6+/-0.7 vs. 3.1+/-1.8 ng/ml, p<0.05). Plant extracts also markedly reduced insulin resistance as measured by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) compared to HFD controls (AHA: 4.4+/-5.3, CE: 3.0+/-3.3 vs. HFD control 38.3+/-26.6, p<0.05). The plant extracts had no effect on calorie intake or body weight.

CONCLUSION: AHA had been shown to have a hypoglycaemic effect in diabetes but this is the first demonstration of a preventive effect of AHA and CE on HFD-induced diabetes.

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