Combined Anti-diabetic Effects of Extracts of Artemisia annua var. Chiknensis (CBGE/CHNA/09/LTNGS/G) and Each of Three Other Plants (Momordica charantia Linn. Vernonia amygdalina Del. and Aegle marmelos Correa) Traditionally Used in Nigeria for the Treatment of Diabetes
The combined anti-diabetic effects of Extracts of Artemisia annua var. chiknensis with Laboratory code number (CBGE/CHINA/09/LTNGS/G), Momordica charantia Linn, Vernonia amygdalina Del. and Aegle marmelos Correa traditionally employed in Nigeria for the treatment of diabetes were studied. Fifty male albino rats which had been subjected to overnight fasting were rendered diabetic through single intraperitoneal alloxan injections (120 mg/kg body weight). They were then divided into 5 batches of ten rats each. The first batch was treated with A. annua leaf extract only. The second batch was treated with a combination of A. annua and M. charantia extracts. The third batch was treated with a combination of A. annua and V. amygdalina extracts while the fourth batch was treated with a combination of A. annua and Aegle marmelos extracts. The extracts were used in the ratio of 1:1 and treatment was done twice daily for a period of 30 days. The fifth batch of diabetic rats was not treated and thus served as control. The sixth batch of non-diabetic rats (10) was set up for comparison. Both the A. annua extract and its various combinations with the other experimental plant extracts resulted in insulin level enhancements and fasting blood glucose level reductions of the diabetic rats. There were significant differences (P≤0.05) in the insulin level of diabetic rats treated with A. annua leaf extract alone and those treated with different combinations of the plant extracts. The mean effects of the extracts on insulin and fasting blood glucose levels were most significant in A. annua + M. charantia (38.65 µlU/ml and 87.55 mg/dl) and A. annua + A. marmelos (38.55 µlU/ml and 87.92 mg/dl) treatments at P≤0.05. The non-treated diabetic rats had an average body weight of 94.90 g as compared to the original average body weight of 100 g at the commencement of the study. The treated diabetic rats had average body weight increments from 108.83g to 109.29 g. The non-diabetic rats had an average body weight of 114.10 g as compared to their initial average body weight of 100 g. The experimental plants were found to contain various biochemical constituents which were probably responsible for the blood serum insulin level enhancements and fasting blood glucose level reductions. The results obtained have shown that the A. annua leaf extract and its combinations with the other plant extracts could be employed in the management of hyperglycemia. The results have shown how effective A. annua var. chiknensis extract is in terms of lowering the blood glucose level or in the prevention of hyperglycemia. The results have also revealed that such blood glucose level reduction could be enhanced when the said extract is used in combination with other plant extracts that have similar effects in terms of management of hyperglycemia. It is hoped that new diabetes drugs that stem from the findings can be developed. However, in order to minimize the risk of diabetes cases in Nigeria, both conventional and traditional preventive measures should be considered.
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