African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines

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The effect of saffron (its active constituent, crocin) on the cardiovascular complication and dyslipidemia in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

E Altinoz, E Taskin, Z Oner, H Elbe, BA Arslan


Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) causes serious complications such as coronary heart disease,  atherosclerosis, nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy.

Materials and Methods: Rats were randomly divided into three groups, each containing 10 rats:  control group, DM group; DM+crocin group. Normal saline was administered in the control and DM  groups, and crocin was administered in DM+crocin group at a dose of 20 mg/kg bw/day for 21 days. Trunk blood and the hearth tissue were collected for histopathological and biochemical examination.

Results: DM led to increment of MDA levels (p<0.05) and the serum levels of total cholesterol, TG, LDL  and VLDL (p<0.05) and decrease of GSH levels (p<0.01) compared to control group in serum and heart tissue. Diabetic rats were treated with crocin, MDA levels (p<0.05) and the levels of total cholesterol, TG and VLDL decreased significantly, but GSH levels (p<0.05) increased remarkably compared to DM rats. Statistically significant increase in histopathological damage score was found in the DM group  (p<0.0001). Histopathological changes markedly regressed in DM+crocin group.

Conclusion: Our results showed that crocin might prevent diabetes induced cardiovascular  complications by reduction of oxidative stress and dyslipidemia.

Key words: Oxidative stress, MDA, GSH, crocin, Diabetes, dislipidemia.

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