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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2013 Apr;27(2):143-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Effect of S-allylcysteine, a sulphur containing amino acid on iron metabolism in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Centre for Biological Science, K.S. Rangasamy College of Arts and Science, Thokkavadi, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu, India.


It is suggested that iron may play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Iron is not only chaperoned through its essential functional pathways, but it also causes damage to biological systems by catalyzing the production of reactive oxygen species. So, the parenchymal tissues of several organs are subject to cell injury and functional insufficiency due to excess deposition of iron. The present study investigated the effects of S-allylcysteine (SAC), a sulphur containing amino acid derived from garlic on the changes in iron metabolism induced by oxidative stress in tissues, as well as on serum biochemical parameters of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. SAC was administered orally for 45days to control and experimental diabetic rats. The effects of SAC on glucose, insulin, serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, serum bilirubin, heart heme oxygenase activity (HO) and δ-aminolevulinicacid dehydratase activity (δ-ALA-D) in liver and kidneys were studied. The levels of glucose, iron, ferritin, bilirubin and HO in liver were increased significantly (p<0.05) whereas the levels of insulin, transferrin and δ-ALA-D in tissues were decreased in diabetic rats. Administration of SAC to diabetic rats showed a decrease in blood glucose, iron, ferritin, bilirubin and HO. In addition, the levels of insulin, transferrin and δ-ALA-D activity in tissues were increased in SAC treated diabetic rats. These findings suggest that S-allylcysteine could have a protective effect against alterations in oxidative stress induced iron metabolism in the diabetic state which was evidenced by the capacity of this natural antioxidant to modulate parameters of iron metabolism.

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