Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is a common metabolic disorder worldwide. In addition to the chief feature of long-standing hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, and a number of complications develop in parallel. It is believed that an adequate control of blood glucose levels can cause these complications to go into remission. This study was performed to evaluate the antidiabetic activity of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (EL) in vivo. The blood-glucose-lowering activity of EL was studied in db/db mice administered crude powdered EL root (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg) orally for eight weeks. At the end of the study, HbA1c, insulin, plasma lipid levels, and histopathology were performed. Powdered EL root showed significant antihyperglycemic activity along with the control of body weight. After eight weeks of treatment, both the blood cholesterol level and the glycogen deposit in hepatocytes were remarkably lower, whereas the secreting insulin level was elevated. An improvement in islet performance was manifested as an increase in beta-cell number and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX1) expression. Neogenesis or formation of new islets from pancreatic duct epithelial cells seen in the EL-treated group was encouraging. This study confirms the antihyperglycemic activity of EL through PDX1-associated beta-cell expansion resulting in an enhancement of islet performance.
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