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Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Jun;286(1-2):53-8. Epub 2006 Mar 11.

Effect of bitter gourd and spent turmeric on constituents of glycosaminoglycans in different tissues in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats.

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Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore 570 020, India.


Diet is now one of the well established means in the management of diabetes. Bitter gourd and spent turmeric at 10% level were tested for their efficacy on glycosaminoglycan metabolism in various tissues viz., liver, spleen, lungs, heart and testis in control, diabetic and treated rats. The glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) were isolated from defatted and dried tissues. The contents of sulfated GAGs decreased in all the tissues and the decrease was more prominent in heart and testis. In the isolated GAGs, contents of total sugar, amino sugar, uronic acid and sulfate were studied. Decrease in total sugar content was maximum in testis. Amino sugar content decreased considerably in testis (38%) and lungs (15%). The content of uronic acid also decreased in testis (33%) besides heart (29%) and liver (25%). Sulfate groups in GAGs perform pivotal functions in many biological events and decrease in sulfate content was significant in heart (40%), testis (37%) and liver (37%). GAGs profile on the cellulose acetate electrophoresis revealed that heparan sulfate (HS), hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS) were present in liver, spleen and lungs. HS, CS were present in heart, DS/CS was observed in testis. The observed beneficial effects in GAGs metabolism during diabetes may be due to the presence of high amounts of dietary fibres present in bitter gourd and spent turmeric, besides, possible presence of bioactive compounds in one or both of them.

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