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Background

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of aqueous extract of alfalfa on blood glucose and serum lipids in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

Materials and methods

Thirty-two adult male Wistar rats weighing 210–250 g were selected and divided randomly into four groups of eight animals each for 21 days as follows: (1) control group, (2) diabetic control group, (3) diabetic group plus aqueous extract of alfalfa (250 mg/l), and (4) diabetic group plus aqueous extract of alfalfa (500 mg/l). Serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), glucose, and the liver enzymes such as aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) were measured at the end of period in all studied groups.

Results

Administration of 250 and 500 mg/l aqueous alfalfa extract resulted in a significantly decreased glucose, TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL, ALT, and AST levels and increased HDL levels as compared with the control group and diabetic control group (p < 0.05). Histological examination showed that the aqueous alfalfa extract caused reconstruction of damaged liver and pancreas.

Conclusion

These results suggest that aqueous alfalfa extract revealed significant effects on blood lipids and glucose levels in diabetic rats and might be useful in prevention and treatment of diabetes. However, further studies are needed to determine the exact impacts of those effects.

Open access
Interventional Medicine and Applied Science
Authors: Esmaiel Amraie, Masome Khosravi Farsani, Leila Sadeghi, Tayaba Naim Khan, Vahid Yousefi Babadi, and Zohrab Adavi

Diabetes is a common metabolic disorder that is specified by hyperglycemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. The use of nonpharmacological treatments (herbal agents) is a new approach in the management of diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of aqueous extract of alfalfa on blood glucose and serum lipids in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. In this study, 32 female rats (210–250 g) were used which were divided randomly into 4 groups including intact control group, diabetic control group, and 2 diabetic groups which received 250 and 500 mg/kg doses of aqueous extract of alfalfa, respectively. In the diabetic groups, alloxan-monohydrate was injected peritoneally to create diabetic condition. The two last groups orally received aqueous extract of alfalfa for 21 days. At the end of experiment, sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density and low-density lipoprotein, and aspartate aminotransferase (ALT) and alanine aminotransferase (AST) levels were measured in the samples. Consumption of aqueous alfalfa extract significantly reduced glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels in the diabetic rats but enhanced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. ALT and AST liver enzyme levels were also reduced in blood. Histological examination showed that the aqueous alfalfa extract caused reconstruction of damaged liver and enhanced Langerhans islets’ diameter in pancreas. Therefore, all signs of diabetes were improved by oral administration of alfalfa in defined dose.

Open access