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J Med Food. 2013 Jun;16(6):538-43. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0084. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Antidiabetic effect of the Chrysobalanus icaco L. aqueous extract in rats.

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Department of Physiology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Sergipe, Brazil.


Chrysobalanus icaco L. is a medicinal plant popularly known in Brazil as "Grageru" or "Abageru." It is used in African and American continents as medicinal food in the treatment of several diseases, including diabetes. This study used phytochemical screening to determine the antioxidant and α-amylase inhibitor activities of the aqueous extract (AECI) of C. icaco, and evaluated its antidiabetic potential in rodents. Phytochemical screening was performed using colorimetric tests with specific reagents. The in vitro antioxidant activity was evaluated by the scavenging activity of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picril-hydrazyl. The lethality test and behavioral screening was performed using an oral administration of 5 g/kg of AECI. The antidiabetic potential of AECI was evaluated through the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and chronic hypoglycemic test at the doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg (orally). Metformin was used as a reference drug in all tests. Diabetes was induced by injection of alloxan (40 mg/kg; intravenously). Phytochemical screening showed the presence of various compounds, including tannins, flavones, triterpenoids, steroids, saponins, and alkaloids. The in vitro antioxidant test demonstrated that AECI presented potent antioxidant activity. The lethality test and behavioral screening did not show lethality signs. In the OGTT test, AECI administration was not able to inhibit the elevation of glycemia. However, chronically administrated, it was able to cause a significant (P<.05) reduction of glycemia from 335±27 up to 197±15 mg/dL. These results demonstrate that the AECI presents a potential beneficial effect for diabetes.

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