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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1990 May-Jun;9(2):143-8.

Effect of Gymnema sylvestre, R.Br. on glucose homeostasis in rats.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan.


Effect of Gymnema sylvestre, R.Br. (G. sylvestre; GS4) on glucose homeostasis was studied in rats. In the first set of experiments, the acute effect of GS4 was examined in both non-diabetic and streptozocin (30 mg/kg)-induced mildly diabetic rats. Administration of 1 g/kg body weight of GS4 to 18-h fasted non-diabetic rats significantly attenuated the serum glucose response to oral administration of 1 g/kg glucose. The immunoreactive insulin (IRI) response in GS4-administered rats was lower, but not significantly, than that in control rats. In mildly diabetic rats, a 60 min increment in serum glucose concentrations was significantly reduced by GS4 administration. No IRI response was observed in these diabetic rats irrespective of GS4 administration. In the second set of experiments, the chronic effect of GS4 was examined in mildly diabetic rats. Two weeks after the induction of diabetes, the rats were divided into two groups that had similar impairment of glucose tolerance assessed by an oral glucose loading test. The rats were fed for 32-35 days with either a control diet or a diet supplemented with GS4. After 4 weeks, GS4 showed a tendency to reduce the serum glucose concentrations in the fed state and to improve the glucose tolerance. Gain in body weight, food intake, pancreas weight and the pancreatic contents of IRI, protein, amylase and trypsinogen were unaltered in the GS4-treated group compared with the control. These results suggest the usefulness of G. sylvestre in the treatment of certain classes of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

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