Anti-diabetic effects of okra [Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench] fruits in alloxan-induced diabetic rats

Nnena Onuoha, Linda Iroegbu, Nkemjika Uwaezuoke


The development of affordable treatment options for diabetes mellitus is critical to reversing the rising prevalence of the disease. Therefore, the usefulness of the whole fruits of Abelmoschus esculentus, a popularly consumed plant food, in treating diabetes and its comorbid conditions was studied in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Twenty diabetic rats were assigned to four groups of five rats each. They were treated with 0, 1250, 2500, and 5000 mg/kg bw of the ground fruits, respectively. After 14 days of treatment, the blood glucose concentration (BGC) of the test rats decreased by 44%, 67% and 78% in the 1250, 2500 and 5000 mg/kg bw groups, respectively, compared to the negative control group. At high concentrations, the fruits reversed the dyslipidemia that is associated with diabetes mellitus. For instance, in the 5000 mg/kg bw group, total cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations were 27% and 39%, respectively, lower; while high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration was 21% higher, than the control group. At 2500 mg/kg bw or above, the fruits significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the concentrations of serum alanine and aspartate amino transferases and alkaline phosphatase, relative to the control group. All the biochemical data are corroborated by histological findings of the pancreas and livers of the studied rats. The whole fruits of Abelmoschus esculentus possess noteworthy antidiabetic properties and significantly reversed diabetes induced dyslipidemia and liver damage in rats.

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