ANTIDIABETIC POTENTIALS OF THE LEAVES OF GONGRONEMA LATIFOLIUM AND OCIMUM GRATISSIMUM ON STREPTOZOTOCIN-INDUCED DIABETIC WISTER ALBINO RATS

AUTHOR: OKONKWO, JAMES CHIKE

DEPARTMENT: APPLIED BIOCHEMISTRY

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

Some effects of the leaves of Gongronema latifolium and Ocimum gratissimum on some biochemical indices in streptozotocin-induced diabetic wister albino rats were studied. Gongronema latifolium and Ocimum gratissimum are edible vegetable leaves grown especially in the southern regions of Nigeria. Phytochemical determination showed that the tannins and phytates were much higher in G. latifolium (1.64mg/100g and 5.10mg/100g respectively) than in O. gratissimum (0.48mg/100g and 0.59mg/100g respectively), while saponins were lower in the former (0.91mg/100g). However, while glycosides were found in only G. latifolium (0.03mg/100g), oxalates were found in only O. gratissimum (1.20mg/100g). The % crude protein, ash and percentage crude fiber were higher in O. gratissimum (28.2%, 11.2% and 10.4% respectively), than in G. latifolium (26.8%, 10.9% and 9.9% respectively), while the % lipid and % Carbohydrate were lower in O. gratissimum (6.2% and 43.4% respectively), than in G. latifolium (6.8% and 45.2% respectively). Iron content was higher in G. latifolium (0.31mg/100g), than in O. gratissimum (0.19mg/100g), while chromium was absent in the latter but present in the former (0.05mg/100g). Vitamin A content was higher in G. latifolium (40.82mg/100g) and lower in O. gratissimum (36.30mg/100g). Vitamin C content was higher in the latter (27.90mg/100g), and lower in the former (22.50mg/100g). Vitamin E content was also higher in the latter and lower in the former. Plasma glucose levels were vi significantly low in diabetic rats (17.0±1.0 mmol/L and 15.0±0.86mmol/L) fed Utazi-Rat-Chow (URC) and Aghigbo-Rat Chow (ARC) respectively, while it was significantly higher in untreated diabetic rats (19.0±0.84 mmol/L) fed only Rat Chow. The non–diabetic rats had low levels of plasma glucose (4.6±0.44 mmol/L, 5.1±0.30 mmol/L and 5.0±0.50 mmol/L) fed URC, ARC and RC respectively. Postprandial glucose levels were also highest in untreated diabetic rats (18.0mmol/L) and lower in the diabetic rats (14.2mmol/L and 15.5mmol/L) fed URC and ARC respectively, while it was lowest in non – diabetic rats (3.8mmol/L,3.8mmol/L and 5.0mmol/L) fed URC, ARC and RC respectively. Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were highest in untreated diabetic rats (6.30±0.54 mmol/g ) fed RC and significantly low in treated diabetic rats (3.80±0.33 mmol/g and 4.33±0.49 mmol/g) fed URC and ARC respectively. There were albuminous damage and fatty degeneration of the convoluted tubules of the kidneys of diabetic rats. Kupffers cells of liver tissues of these diabetic rats were distended with lipid deposits. These findings suggest that G. latifolium (Utazi) and O. gratissimum (Aghigbo) posses hypoglycemic as well as anti peroxidative properties. As such they will be useful in the dietary regimen of especially diabetics.

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