Anti-hyperglycemic compound (GII) from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) seeds, its purification and effect in diabetes mellitus

Radha Moorthy, K M Prabhu, P S Murthy
Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 2010, 48 (11): 1111-8
An anti-hyperglycemic compound named GII was purified from the water extract of the seeds of fenugreek (T. foenum-graecum) and shown to be different from trigonelline and nicotinic acid isolated earlier from the same plant. GII (50 mg/kg body weight, po) reduced blood glucose in glucose tolerance test (GTT) in the sub-diabetic and moderately diabetic rabbits and significantly reduced the area under the curve (AUC) of GTT. Treatment for 7 days of the sub-diabetic rabbits with GII (50 mg/kg body weight, po) improved glucose tolerance without reducing fasting blood glucose (FBG) which was nearly normal. The results suggest that there is no risk of hypoglycemia in near normal animals (may be humans also) with abnormal GTT. Treatment of the moderately diabetic rabbits with GII (100 mg/kg body weight for 3 weeks) reduced FBG to nearly normal value and improved GTT. GII was more effective than the standard drug tolbutamide. Intermittent therapy given on days 1-5, 11-15, 26-30 and 56-60 to moderately diabetic rabbits leaving in between days without treatment brought down FBG to normal and AUC during GTT was normal. After 15 days treatment with GII (100 mg/kg body weight for 3 weeks) glycosylated hemoglobin came down and insulin increased to normal values in the sub-diabetic, moderately diabetic and severely diabetic rabbits. GII treatment (100 mg/kg body weight for 15 days) brought down all the altered serum lipids (TC, HDLC, TAG, PLs and FFAs) to normal levels. The results suggest that intermittent therapy, instead of daily therapy is possible and GII has good potential as an oral anti-diabetic drug with intermittent therapy.

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