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The aqueous extract of Asparagus officinalis L. by-product exerts hypoglycaemic activity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

BACKGROUND: The inedible bottom part of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) spears, around one-third to one-half of the total length, is always discarded as by-product. Since it still contains various bioactive substances, this by-product might have potential usage in food supplements for its therapeutic effects. In this study the hypoglycaemic effect of the aqueous extract of asparagus by-product (AEA) was evaluated in a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat model.

RESULTS: Continuous administration of AEA for 21 days significantly decreased fasting serum glucose and triglyceride levels but markedly increased body weight and hepatic glycogen level in diabetic rats. In an oral glucose tolerance test, both the blood glucose level measured at 30, 60 and 120 min after glucose loading and the area under the glucose curve showed a significant decrease after AEA treatment.

CONCLUSION:TheresultsofthisstudydemonstratethatAEAhashypoglycaemicandhypotriglyceridaemicfunctions,suggesting that it might be useful in preventing diabetic complications associated with hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia.