Author: Ajuzieogu Chidimma Felicia
Department: Applied Biochemistry
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The effect of Discorea dumentorum (D.dumentorum) (Kunth) Pax (Discoreaceae) feed on the amount of consumed feed, weight, blood glucose, insulin, anti-oxidant enzymes, lipid profile and lipid peroxidation were investigated in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Proximate analysis and phytochemical screening were determined by standard procedures of AOAC and Sofowora respectively. Twenty adult male rats in 4 groups of 5 rats each were used for the study. Three groups – D. dumentorum-fed, glibenclamide administered and standard pellet-fed rats were induced with diabetes by i.p. administration of 50 mg kg-1 Streptozotocin while a group served as non-diabetic control. D. dumentorum was fed to each rat at 15 g daily for 10 days before induction and this continued after induction for the period of study. Glibenclamide was orally administered (5mg kg-1) daily. The amount of consumed feed, body weights
and blood glucose concentrations were monitored daily, while insulin levels, superoxide Dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, lipid profile, and lipid peroxidation levels were measured 2 days after induction and at the end of study. The proximate analysis revealed that D.dumentorum feed contained moisture (12.6%), protein (10%), crude fat (1.2%), crude fiber (41%), ash (6%) and carbohydrate (29.2%).The phytochemical screening showed the feed contains flavonoids, saponins, tannins, cardiac glycosides and alkaloids. Non-diabetic rats had average of 15 g intake of D. dumentorum feed per day, which dropped to 10.3g after induction of diabetes. The D. dumentorum-fed and Glibenclamide treated rats showed weight reduction (p<0.05). STZ administration produced appreciable increases in blood glucose levels of diabetic rats. D. dumentorum-fed and Glibenclamide treated rats showed reduced (p<0.05) blood glucose levels. Insulin was absent in D. dumentorum-fed rats, whereas 0.53ng ml-1 of insulin was detected in Glibenclamide-treated rats. These quantities were lower than 1.12ng ml-1in the non-diabetic rats. The antioxidant enzyme activity (IU L-1): Superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase increased (p<0.05) in D. dumentorum-fed rats. Glibenclamide treated rats also had increased activity of Superoxide dismutase and glutathione Peroxidase but reduced catalase activity. D. dumentorum fed rats had increased levels of cholesterol, LDL, HDL (P<0.05) but decrease in triglyceride and VLDL. Glibenclamide treated rats had decreased levels of cholesterol, VLDL, LDL, triglyceride and increased HDL. Lipid peroxidation levels in D. dumentorum- fed (P<0.05) and Glibenclamide treated rats reduced. This study revealed that D. dumentorum tuber displayed hypoglycemic,antioxidant, antihyperlipidemia and inhibit formation of lipid peroxides in diabetic rats. Its probable mechanism of antihyperglycemic activity might not be through increased insulin secretion but could be its high fiber content
or phytochemicals.

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