Aim of the study: Hydro-alcoholic extracts of Centaurium erythraea Rafn (CE), Gentianaceae and Artemisia herba-alba Asso (AHA), Asteraceae, medicinal plants used in traditional treatment of diabetes in north-eastern Algeria, were tested in established type 2 diabetes induced with a standardized high fat diet (HFD) in mice. Materials and methods: After confirmation of diabetes (17th week), plant extracts were administered orally by gavage at a dose of 2 g/kg daily for 18 weeks to male C57BL/6J mice fed HFD. Animals were weighed, food intake and plasma glucose measured weekly, insulin and lipid profile at study end. Results: At 35 weeks, groups treated with AHA or CE vs. HFD control had a significant reduction in mean (±SD) fasting blood glucose concentrations (143.8 ± 23.9 and 139.5 ± 14.2 vs. 229.0 ± 20.8 mg/dL, p < 0.05, respectively), triglyceride (18.9 ± 11.1 and 16.0 ± 6.5 vs. 62.8 ± 18.3 mg/dL, p < 0.05), total cholesterol (1.2 ± 0.1 and 1.2 ± 0.3 vs. 1.8 ± 1.1 g/L, p < 0.05) and serum insulin concentrations (1.7 ± 0.7 and 0.9 ± 0.7 vs. 3.3 ± 14.3 ng/mL, p < 0.05). Plant extracts also markedly reduced insulin resistance as compared to HFD controls (AHA: 15.6 ± 9.1, CE: 9.0 ± 7.7 vs. HFD control 38.5 ± 30.3, p < 0.05). The plant extracts decreased calorie intake and had little effect on body weight or HDL-cholesterol. Conclusion: AHA has already been shown to have a antihyperglycaemic and antihyperlipidemic effect but this is the first demonstration of an effect of AHA and CE on established HFD-induced diabetes. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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