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Saudi Med J. 2013 Nov;34(11):1125-32.

Hypoglycemic effects of date seed extract. Possible mechanism of action, and potential therapeutic implications.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, PO Box 2925 (28), Riyadh 11461, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel. +966 (11) 4671314. Fax. +966 (11) 4671300. E-mail:



To investigate the possible mechanism, by which an extract from date seeds exert its hypoglycemic effect.


This study was performed at the Anatomy Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from May to December 2012. Eighty rats were divided into 4 groups. Group 1 received no treatment. Group 2 received daily ingestions of 10 ml of date seed extract for 8 weeks. Animals of groups 3 and 4 were made diabetic by streptozotocin injection, and were given daily subcutaneous injections of 3 IU/day of insulin for 8 weeks. Group 4 received, in addition, daily ingestions of 10 ml of seed extracts. Rats were sacrificed, and the sera were separated for estimation of serum C-peptide levels. Pancreatic tissues were processed for histological study of the islet cells, immunohistochemical study for insulin secretion and image analysis for insulin quantification.


Mean serum C-peptide level was significantly higher in group 4 compared to group 3. Pancreatic islets from rats of group 3 showed weak immunoreactivity for insulin, while those of group 4 showed strong immunoreactivity in some hypertrophied beta cells. Immunopositive cells were detected in the wall of interlobular ducts and in centroacinar cells of pancreas only in group 4. Quantification of insulin immunoreactivity showed a marked reduction in islet size and extent of insulin immunoreactivity in diabetic compared to control groups.


Date seed extracts may stimulate endogenous insulin secretion through extra-islet sources.

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