Aim: This study was carried out to evaluate the anti-diabetic properties of root extracts of Salacia nitida in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.
Study Design: Experimental Animal Study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Pharmacology, University of Port Harcourt,Rivers State from July 2016 to February 2017.
Methodology: The study investigated the dose-dependent changes in the blood glucose levels, body weight, serum lipid profile (Total Cholesterol (TC), Total glycerides (TG), Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL), liver function (serum; Alanine Amino Transferase (ALT), Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), Total Bilirubin, Conjugated Bilirubin, Total Proteins and Albumin) and renal function (serum; creatinine and urea). The method of successive extraction was used, making use of the solvents n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, methanol and water in order of polarity to extract the root fractions to be utilised for the research. A qualitative phytochemical analysis making use of standardized methods was performed. Acute toxicity was evaluated using the Lorke's method. The anti-diabetic study was evaluated in twenty-one days, comprising two phases: induction phase and treatment phase. Fifty- five rats for the experiment were divided into eleven sets of five rats each.
Results: These results indicate the presence of chemical constituents; alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins and carbohydrates in the extracts. LD50 value was determined to be more than 5000 mg/kg, which indicates that it is safe. The extracts showed hypoglycemic activity which was evidenced by improving the body imbalance in lipid metabolism experienced during diabetes, restoring body weight to near normal, lowering blood glucose levels, restoring protein levels to near normal, decreased liver glycogen levels, and decreasing albumin, bilirubin, urea and creatinine levels.
Conclusion: This study indicated that the root extracts of Salacia nitida showed anti-diabetic properties in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Thus, the extracts of S. nitida will be an inordinate addition to ethnomedicine in the management of diabetes and its complications.