In the present study, the putative antihyperglycemic and antioxidant effects of a flavanone, naringenin, were evaluated in comparison with those of glyclazide, a standard drug for therapy of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes was induced experimentally in 12-hfasted rats by intraperitoneal injections of first streptozotocin (50 mg/kg b.w.) and then of nicotinamide (110 mg/kg b.w.) after a 15-min interval. Untreated diabetic rats revealed the following in comparison with normal rats: significantly higher mean levels of blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin, significantly lower mean levels of serum insulin, significantly lower mean activities of pancreatic antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S- transferase), significantly lower mean levels of plasma non-enzymatic antioxidants (reduced glutathione, vitamin C , vitamin E), significantly elevated mean levels of pancreatic malondialdehyde (MDA) and significantly elevated mean activities of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Following oral administration of naringenin (50 mg/kg b.w./day) to diabetic rats for 21 days, the following observations were made in comparison with untreated diabetic rats: significantly lower mean levels of fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin, significantly elevated serum insulin levels, significantly higher mean activities of pancreatic enzymatic antioxidants, significantly higher mean levels of plasma nonenzymatic antioxidants, lower mean pancreatic tissue levels of MDA and lower mean activities of ALT, AST, ALP and LDH in serum. The values obtained in the naringenin-treated animals approximated those observed in glyclazide-treated animals. Histopathological studies appeared to suggest a protective effect of naringenin on the pancreatic tissue in diabetic rats. These results suggest that naringenin exhibits antihyperglycemic and antioxidant effects in experimental diabetic rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas