*Ajiboso S. O., Yakubu T. M and Oladiji A. T


Aqueous extract of Calotropis procera leaf was investigated for antidiabetic activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Adult Wistar rats of mean weight 110.0±1.4 g were randomised into six groups (A-F) such that group A (nondiabetic) received orally 0.5ml of distlled water once daily for 10 days. Animals in group B, C, D, E and F which were made diabetic with alloxan (150 mg/kg body weight i.p) also received once daily 0.5ml of metformin (2.5 mg/kg b.w p.o), 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight o.p. of the extract respectively. Standard procedures were used to determine blood glucose, body weight, oral glucose tolerance test, weight of pancreas, serum insulin, total protein, urine glucose and ketone. The results of the antidiabetic study revealed that blood glucose of the alloxanised rats within 36 hours were significantly and progressively reduced (p<0.05) in the metformin - and extract - treated animals. The trace amount of urine ketone and glucose concentrations in the distilled water - treated diabetic rats were not observed in the other treatment groups except in the 25 mg/kg body weight extract treated group where less than 0.25 % of the urine glucose concentration was observed. The reduction in body weight, weight of pancreas, serum insulin and total protein in the distilled water-treated diabetic rats were reverted back to the range of the non-diabetic controls by the extract and metformin. The significant elevation (p>0.05) of oral glucose in distilled water treated diabetic rats was also reverted back to normal. The present study thus provides scientific evidence to support the acclaimed use of Calotropis procera leaf for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in folk medicine in Nigeria.

Keywords: Calotropis procera, antidiabetic activity.

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