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J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2000;2(4):321-7.

Antihyperglycemic effects of gymnemic acid IV, a compound derived from Gymnema sylvestre leaves in streptozotocin-diabetic mice.

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Department of Chemical Pharmacology, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Sugitani, Japan.


We investigated the antihyperglycemic action of a crude saponin fraction and five triterpene glycosides (gymnemic acids I-IV and gymnemasaponin V) derived from the methanol extract of leaves of Gymnema sylvestre R. BR. (Asclepiadaceae) in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic mice. The saponin fraction (60mg/kg) reduced blood glucose levels 2 4h after the intraperitoneal administration. Gymnemic acid IV, not the other 4 glycosides at doses of 3.4-13.4mg/kg reduced the blood glucose levels by 13.5-60.0% 6h after the administration comparable to the potency of glibenclamide, and did not change the blood glucose levels of normal mice. Gymnemic acid IV at 13.4 mg/kg increased plasma insulin levels in STZ-diabetic mice. Gymnemic acid IV (1 mg/mL) did not inhibit alpha-glycosidase activity in the brush border membrane vesicles of normal rat small intestines. These results indicate that insulin-releasing action of gymnemic acid IV may contribute to the antihyperglycemic effect by the leaves of G. sylvestre. Gymnemic acid IV may be an anti-obese and antihyperglycemic pro-drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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