Anti-Diabetic Effect of Aqueous Ripe Fruit Extract of Borassus Aethiopum Mart. (Family: Arecaeae) in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats

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MARCH, 2016
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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by hyperglycaemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. The chronic hyperglycaemia is associated with long-term damage, dysfunction, and failure of various organs, especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels and is among the top ten causes of death in the world. Borassus aethiopum Mart. (family Arecaceae) is a plant species of Borassus palm found widely across Africa. It serves an important source of food, providing edible fruits, and nuts, and also has a number of pharmacological uses that have been reported in some parts of the world. This study explored the phytochemical constituents and antidiabetic properties of ripe fruit extract of B. aethiopum in alloxanized experimental rats for 7 and 28 days. Normoglycaemic and alloxan-induced diabetic rats were treated with fruit extract of borassus (FEB) at doses of 100, 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight. Body weight, relative organ weight, haematological and biochemical parameters were measured in both acute and sub chronic studies. The preliminary phytochemical screening showed the presence of tannins, saponins, glycosides, triterpenoids and alkaloids. Fasting blood glucose was reduced significantly (p<0.05) in diabetic rats in acute study at a dose of 500 mg/kg body weight and at 250 and 500 mg/kg body weight in sub chronic studies. White blood cell count (WBC) and platelets (PLT) levels were significantly increased after treatment with 500 mg/kg body weight. Urea and Alanine Transaminase (ALT) levels also reduced significantly in both acute and sub chronic studies. The experiment supports the traditional use of B. athiopum as a medicinal plant in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements Master of Philosophy degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics.