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Studies on the possible mechanisms of antidiabetic activity of extract of aerial parts of Phyllanthus niruri

Context/objectives: The effects of methanol extract of aerial parts of Phyllanthus niruri L. (Euphorbiaceae), an antidiabetic herb, on glucose absorption and storage in diabetes were studied to elucidate the mechanisms of blood glucose lowering and glycemic control in diabetes.

Methods: The effect of chronic oral administration of the extract on glycemic control was evaluated in alloxan diabetic rats using blood glucose lowering and post-prandial glucose suppression activities as well as effects on hemoglobin glycation and body weight. Effects on glucose mobilization and storage were assessed using the weight and glycogen content of liver isolated from treated diabetic rats, while in vitro inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzyme activities were used as indices of effect on glucose absorption.

Several medicinal plants spread across different families have been screened for antidiabetic activity with promising results (Mohamed et al., 2006). One such plant is Phyllanthus niruri Linn. (Euphorbiaceae), a small annual herb indigenous to rain forests, tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world (Damle, 2008) and popularly employed in traditional medicine practice in different parts of the world for the treatment of a variety of disorders.