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Al Alawi, Alkhanbashi, Al Alawi, Amir, Azimullah, and Adem: Ameliorative effect of Withania coagulans on hyperglycaemia and oxidative stress

Introduction: Management of diabetes mellitus always begins with improving glycaemic control by modification of diet, use of oral hypoglycaemic agents and insulin supplementation. However, owing to a steady increase in the dosage of treatment with time and adverse side-effects, there is a demand for new compounds to manage diabetes mellitus. Withania coagulans is a natural product with folkloric medicinal use for chronic disorders of liver, dyspepsia, flatulent coli, intestinal infections, ulcers, rheumatism, bronchitis and degenerative diseases. However, there is lack of information regarding its effect on chronic diabetes mellitus.

Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the antihyperglycaemic effect of aqueous W. coagulans extract on hepatic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) activity and oxidative stress in acute and chronic diabetic models.

Materials and methods: The screening of the most effective dose of W. coagulans was determined by postprandial glucose test in streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats. The beneficial effects of administration of W. coagulans (10 mg/kg) for 21 days on body weight, blood glucose, hepatic G6PDH activity, reduced glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were investigated in acute and chronic STZ diabetic rats.

Results: W. coagulans (10 mg/kg) significantly inhibited the postprandial rise in blood glucose level after food administration at 60, 120 and 240 minutes in STZ rats, compared with control. Twenty-one-day treatment with W. coagulans resulted in significant improvements in body weight and glycaemic control in both acute and chronic diabetic groups. The levels and activities of hepatic G6DPH activity, GSH and MDA were either significantly increased or near normal due to treatment.

Conclusions: W. coagulans demonstrated antihyperglycaemic activity in diabetic rats. The beneficial effect was associated with increased hepatic glucose uptake and decrease in oxidative stress, which may attenuate diabetic complications. These data suggest that the dietary intake of W. coagulans may reinforce the effect of existing treatments for diabetes mellitus.

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