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Hexane extract of <i>Dacryodes edulis</i> fruits possesses anti-diabetic and hypolipidaemic potentials in alloxan diabetes of rats

Chidinma A Okolo
Vincent C Ejere
Christian O Chukwuka
Ihechiluru I Ezeigbo
Daniel D Nwibo
Augustine N Okorie


Background: The fruit extract of Dacryodes edulis (D. edulis), the African pear or plum, a tree indigenous to the humid tropics has been used for managing wounds, skin diseases, sickle cell anaemia, dysentery and fever in some African nations. In South Eastern Nigeria, 'herbal doctors' include its marshed fruit in decoctions administered to diabetic patients. However no scientific substantiation of their claim and use exist in literature. Hence, the need to evaluate the antidiabetic and hypolipidaemic activity of hexane extracts of D. edulis fruit in alloxanised animal model.
Materials and Methods: Sub-toxic doses between 400 and 1600mg/kg were orally administered sub-chronically to alloxan-induced diabetic rats for 15 days and compared to glibenclamide (2.5mg/kg). The glycaemia levels, body weights, lipid profile, blood urea, creatinine and liver enzyme levels were measured. Basic histology of the pancreatic tissue was also performed to examine the effects on the pancreas as possible mechanistic lead.
Results: Oral acute dosing of D. edulis hexane extract decreased blood glucose levels, while sub-chronic treatment of the extract down-regulated significantly hyperglycaemia, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-C, ALT and ALP levels. However, the HDL-C levels increased significantly. Histopathological examination of the pancreatic tissues after sub-chronic treatment showed that glibenclamide and the highest dose of the extract 1600mg/kg restored the afore-damaged pancreatic β-cell architecture.
Conclusion: Our findings portend that D. edulis hexane fruit extract possesses hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic activities as well as restoration of the pancreatic architecture without any obvious untoward hepatic damages, suggesting that its use in the management of the diabetes may be valid.

Keywords: Dacryodes edulis, anti-diabetic, hypolipidaemic, diabetes.

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eISSN: 0189-6016