Investigating the chemical constituents and anti-diabetic activity of the dried husk of Zea Mays (Corn), Poaceae

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MAY, 2016
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This work was aimed at investigating the anti-diabetic activity and chemical constituents of the dried husk of Zea Mays (corn), Poaceae. The anti-diabetic activity of the aqueous extract was carried out by testing the fasting blood glucose levels of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients who were on their oral anti-diabetic medications for three weeks without administering the corn husk tea and the next 3 weeks, after administering corn husk tea (sample test). The fasting blood glucose test was carried out weekly for six weeks on another set of type 2 DM patients taking their oral anti-diabetic medications but not taking the corn husk tea (control test). The tea exhibited a significant anti-diabetic activity as compared to the control. The phytochemical screening conducted revealed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids and glycosides in the aqueous and methanolic extracts of the corn husk. Ethylacetate: methanol: water: glacial acetic acid (60:20:20:2 %v/v) was the best solvent system used to develop a thin layer chromatography for the methanolic extract. Five fractions were obtained from column chromatography when petroleum ether, ethylacetate and methanol were combined in different ratios. Methanol: water (95:5) %v/v was used to develop a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) fingerprint for all five fractions. Three pure isolates were separated from fraction one using preparative HPLC and Infrared spectra were obtained for each isolate. The results from this research work has demonstrated the anti-diabetic activity of the dried husk of Zea Mays (corn) and also, the presence of chemicals that may be responsible for such activity. This makes it clear as to why DM patients would drink corn husk tea or the liquid obtained after cooking ‘Ga’ kenkey.
Dissertation submitted to The Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, KNUST in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.