Blood glucose-lowering effect of Telfairia Occidentalis: A preliminary study on the underlying mechanism and responses

Toyin Mohammed Salman, Isiaka Abdullateef Alagbonsi, Sikiru Abayomi Biliaminu, Olusegun Ayodeji Ayandele, Opeyemi Kabiru Oladejo, Olanrewaju Adedeji Adeosun


The effects of aqueous extract of Telfairia Occidentalis leaf (TO) on plasma glucose, lactate
dehydrogenase activity (LDH), insulin and cortisol levels in rats were investigated. Thirty male Wistar rats
(200−250g) were randomly divided into 5 groups (n=6/group). Rats in the control group received 0.2 ml of normal
saline while rats in other groups were orally treated with 100 or 200 mg/Kg of the extract for either 1 or 2 weeks. The
results showed that there were significant increases in insulin and cortisol levels, decrease in glucose, and an
insignificant increase in LDH activity in rats treated with 100 and 200 mg/Kg of the extract for 1 week. However, after
2 weeks of treatment with the same doses, there was no significant change in plasma insulin in the treated rats
when compared with the control. In contrast, there was a significant decrease in plasma insulin levels when
compared with what was obtained after one week of treatment. The reduction in plasma insulin was accompanied
by increases in plasma glucose towards normal and significant increases in plasma cortisol and LDH activity. The
results suggest that the blood glucose-lowering effect of Telfairia Occidentalis might be mediated at least in part by
insulin. This effect elicited counterregulatory responses that included an increase in plasma cortisol and lactate
dehydrogenase activity to probably stimulate cortisol-induced gluconeogenesis and favor lactate oxidation.

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