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Pharm Biol. 2014 Oct;52(10):1286-90. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2014.890230. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Evaluation of antidiabetic properties of cactus pear seed oil in rats.

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Laboratory of Physiology and Ethnopharmacology, Mohamed 1st University , Oujda , Morocco and.



Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae)) is a medicinal plant widely used to treat diabetes.


This work investigates the hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic effect of cactus pear seed oil (CPSO), its mechanism of action, and any toxic effects.


The hypoglycemic effect of CPSO was evaluated in groups of six healthy Wistar rats given 1 or 2 ml kg(-1) orally and compared with groups receiving glibenclamide (2 mg kg(-1)) or water. Glycemia was determined after 30, 60, 120, 240, and 360 min. The antihyperglycemic effect of CPSO was determined in healthy rats and in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ); normal rats received 0.8 ml kg(-1) CPSO, while diabetic rats received 1 ml kg(-1) CPSO, their controls received water or 2 mg kg(-1) glibenclamide. For the antihyperglycemic effect evaluation, all the animals were fasted for 16 h before treatment and received glucose orally at 1 g kg(-1) 30 min after treatment; blood was taken after 30, 90, 150, and 210 min. Intestinal glucose absorption was estimated in rat jejunum perfused with a solution containing 5.55 mmol l(-1) glucose. Acute toxicity was determined in albino mice that received oral or intraperitoneal doses of 1, 3, or 5 ml kg(-1) CPSO.


CPSO (p.o.) decreased postprandial hyperglycemia (60 min after glucose loading), 40.33% and 16.01%, in healthy and STZ-diabetic glucose-loaded rats, respectively. CPSO, also, significantly decreased intestinal glucose absorption by 25.42%. No adverse effects were seen in mice administered CPSO at up to 5 ml kg(-1).


CPSO is antihyperglycemic. The effect can be explained partly by inhibition of intestinal glucose absorption.


Antihyperglycemic; Opuntia ficus-indica; diabetes; glucose tolerance; intestinal glucose absorption; postprandial hyperglycemia; streptozotocin

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