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XF Zhang, BKH Tan
Correspondence: A/Prof B K H Tan
Aim of Study The aim was to demonstrate the effects of the leaves of Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. on blood sugar and lipid levels in experimental animals.
Methodology We obtained an ethanolic extract of the leaves of G. procumbens and monitored the effects of an oral administration of (i) different single doses of the extract on oral glucose tolerance in streptozotocin-induced diabetic and normal rats and (ii) fourteen doses over 7 days on serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Metformin and glibenclamide were used as positive control drugs.
Results The extract, at single doses of 50, 150 and 300 mg/kg orally, significantly suppressed the elevated serum glucose levels in diabetic rats; 150 mg/kg was found to be the optimum hypoglycaemic dose. The extract however did not significantly suppress the elevated serum glucose levels in normal rats, unlike glibenclamide. Metformin, but not glibenclamide, improved glucose tolerance in the diabetic rats. When the optimum dose was given to diabetic rats for 7 days, the extract significantly reduced serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in these rats.
Conclusion These results indicate that the leaves of G. procumbens may have biguanide-like activity.
Keywords: Gynura procumbens, diabetic rat, cholesterol, triglyceride, oral glucose tolerance test
Singapore Med J 2000; 41(1): 9-13