Studies on Possible Beneficial Biochemical Outcomes of Single and Combinatorial Herbal Formulations on Diabetic Wistar Rats
Chikezie, C. M.
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Medicinal plants continue to provide valuable therapeutic recipes, in orthodox and traditional healing systems, for amelioration of diseases and disorders. The current study sought to evaluate the capacities of single herbal formulations (SHFs), double herbal formulations (DHFs), triple herbal formulations (THFs) and quadruple herbal formulation (QHF) of leaf extracts of Acanthus montanus, Asystasia gangetica, Gongronema latifolium and Solanum melongena to ameliorate hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in diabetic rats (DM-r). The study also evaluated plasma lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, visceral organs and body weights as measures of the capacities of the herbal formulations to ameliorate systemic toxicity, visceral organs inflammation or necrosis and body tissues wasting in alloxan-induced DM-r. A total of 102 male Wistar rats were divided into seventeen (17) groups of six (6) rats each. DM was induced in the rats by single intra-peritoneal (i.p.) injection of 90 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) of alloxan monohydrate in phosphate buffered saline solution (pH = 7.4). The rats with fasting plasma glucose concentration (FPGC) > 5.71 mmol/L for 5 consecutive days were considered diabetic and treated with the herbal formulations for 21 consecutive days. Preparation of the herbal formulations and measurements of FPGC and serum lipid profile of the rats were according to standard methods. Plasma LDH activity, visceral organs and body weights were measured using standard methods. Combined dose (ratio: 1:1 w/w) of A. gangetica + A. montanus (200 mg/kg b.w.) exerted the greatest glycemic control in DM-r, which corresponded to FPBC of 5.96 ± 0.30 mmol/L. Additionally, combined doses (ratio: 1:1 w/w) of A. gangetica + A. montanus (200 mg/kg b.w.) and A. gangetica + G. latifolium (200 mg/kg b.w.) substantially reverse dyslipidemia in DM-r. Serum LDH activities of herbal treated rat groups varied within a relatively narrow range of 549.9 ± 12.10 – 500.6 ± 12.02 IU/L and were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the untreated DM-r. The body weights of the experimental rat groups after herbal treatment were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than their corresponding body weights before herbal treatment. The ratios of liver weight to body weight were within the range of 0.0293 ± 1.4 x 10-3 – 0.0597 ± 2.3 x 10-3. The ratio of kidney weight to body weight of untreated DM-r was 1.64 fold higher than that of normal rat group; p > 0.05. The present study showed that selected DHFs offered greater glycemic control than other herbal formulations and reversed dyslipidemia in experimental rat groups. Additionally, the present study showed that the single and combinatorial herbal formulations administered to DM-r exhibited protective effect against visceral organ necrosis, ameliorated systemic toxicity, reversed of loss in body weight as well as liver and renal tissues hypertrophy. Efficacy of the herbal formulations depended on the type and number of individual herbal extract used in constituting the herbal formulations