Bioprospecting for hypoglycemic activities and safety of selected traditionally used plants used traditionally in the management of diabetes mellitus
Makori, Wycliffe Arika
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Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorder arising either due to relative or absolute deficiency of a digestive hormone; insulin. It also arises as a result of the inability or resistance of the body cells to utilize the available insulin. The disorder completely throws the metabolism of dietary carbohydrates, fats and proteins into disarray. This condition in its fully developed form is characterized by high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia), glycosuria, increased protein breakdown, ketosis and acidosis. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition which though can be controlled lasts a lifetime. Conventional management of diabetes mellitus is expensive and therefore unaffordable and sometimes not available to many patients especially in developing and underdeveloped nations. Such antidiabetic drugs have been found to have side effects with long term use. These have facilitated the continued usage of the traditional and herbal medicines in the underdeveloped and developing nations. Experimental data on the active component, safety and ethno-medicinal plants is unknown and this has led to their under-utilization. The aim of this study is to identify through bioassay-guided screening, safety, toxic components and the hypoglycemic/antidiabetic activity present in five selected medicinal plants. The following herbs will be studied; Lippia javanica, Ocimum lamiifolium, Croton macrostachyus, Azaritchta indica, and Persea americana. The in-vivo hypoglycemic activity and safety of the extracts will be screened in white male alloxan-induced diabetic albino mice. The extracts will be administered orally and intraperitoneally. The safety of these plant extracts will be studied by administering 450mglkg, 670mglkg and 1000mglkg body weight orally and intraperitoneally daily for 30 days. Some of the parameters to be scored include: changes in body and organ weight, full hemoglobin, biochemical parameters and cell damage/histology. Mineral composition of the extracts will be analyzed using Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence system (TRXF) while various phytochemicals present will be assessed using standard procedures. The study will confirm use of these herbs in the management of diabetes mellitus and establish the safety and efficacy profiles of the above traditional herbal medicines.