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Fitoterapia. 2003 Dec;74(7-8):677-81.

Antihyperglycemic activity of the aqueous extract of Urtica dioica.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie et Pharmacologie Cellulaire, UFR de Physiologie et Pharmacologie, Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences, Université Mohamed Ier, Oujda B.P. 524, Morocco.


When administered 30 min before glucose loading, the aqueous extract of Urtica dioica (nettle) (250 mg/kg) showed a strong glucose lowering effect. The decrease of glycemia has reached to 33+/-3.4% of the control value 1 h after glucose loading. This effect was persistent during 3 h. In contrast, nettle did not show hypoglycemic effect in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The amount of glucose absorbed in a segment jejunum in situ was 8.05+/-0.68 mg in presence of nettle extract vs. 11.11+/-0.75 mg in control rats during 2 h (P<0.05). The results indicate that nettle has a significant antihyperglycemic effect in OGTT model. This effect may be caused in part by the reduction of intestinal glucose absorption. LD(50) is 3.5 g/kg (i.p.).

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