Background: Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) natural, safe, non-toxic, non-caloric sugar substitute is rich source of pharmacologically important glycoside stevioside that is linked to the pathology and complications of hyperlipidemia.
Methods: The present research was carried out to explore the anti-hyperlipidemic effect of aqueous extract of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaves in albino rats. For this purpose, hyperlipidemia was induced by administration of Cholesterol(90% E, Appli Chem, Darmstadt, Germany) mixed at dose of 400 mg/kg body weight of rats in their daily routine feed.The hyperlipidemic rats were administered with aqueous stevia extract at different dose levels (200, 300, 400 and500 ppm/kg b.w.) for 8 weeks; the control rats were fed basal diet during this period. Ethical approval for the current research was obtained from Institutional Review Board Faculty of Science & Technology Government CollegeUniversity, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Results: Stevia aqueous extract decreased the body weight gain by lowering the feed intake of hyperlipidemic rats.Furthermore, administration of stevia extract at different levels significantly (P < 0.05) lowered the TC (125.22 ± 5.91to 110.56 ± 5.81 mg/dL), TG (102.13 ± 6.89 to 98.62 ± 7.22 mg/dL), LDL (33.02 ± 4.79 to 22.77 ± 4.36 mg/dL), VLDL(21.22 ± 5.79 to 19.33 ± 5.95 mg/dL) levels and LDL/HDL ratios (0.83 ± 1.22 to 0.54 ± 1.66 mg/dL) from H1 to H4.Conversely, it improved the HDL (39.76 ± 4.34 to l42.02 ± 4.39 mg/dL) level in hyperlipidemic rats compared with untreated rats after eight weeks study period.
Conclusion: It is concluded that aqueous extract of stevia has anti-hyperlipidemic effects in albino rats, and therefore could be a promising nutraceutical therapy for the management of hyperlipidemia and its associated complications.