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An experimental study to evaluate the hypoglycemic and anti-inflammatory effect of ficus religiosa and its comparison with glibenclamide

Author: 
Rathi Priyanka, Nath Rajendra, Pant, K. K., Natu, S. M., Dixit, R. K., 1Sachan, A. K. and Katiyar, D. K.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Ficus religiosa (FR) commonly known as Bo tree or Peepal, has been extensively used in traditional medicine for a wide range of ailments including diabetes mellitus. However, the plant has not been widely studied for its hypoglycemic/ anti-hyperglycemic effects, except for a few preliminary studies. In this study we provide the experimental evidence for the clinical use of FR in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Aims and 0bjectives: The present study was aimed to evaluate the hypoglycemic and anti-inflammatory effects of Ficus religiosa and their comparison with the standard oral hypoglycemic (2nd generation sulfonylurea - Glibenclamide) drug in diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: 30 Wistar Albino rats were included in the study.A base line body weight was recorded and baseline biochemical analysis of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and plasma TNF-α levels of rats in all the groups was done. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was induced by feeding rats with a high fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks followed by a single intraperitoneal injection of low dose of streptozotocin (STZ, 30 mg/kg b.w.). Rats with FPG ≥ 160 mg/dl were included in the experiment and were randomly divided into 5 groups, each comprising of 6 rats. Ficus religiosa powder at a dose of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg b.w., and standard drug (Glibenclamide) at a dose of 0.3 mg/kg was given orally, once daily, to the desired group of animals for a period of 4 weeks. After 4 weeks of drug treatment, the above mentioned parameters were analyzed again. Statistical Analysis: The data was expressed as mean ± SD and was analyzed by one way analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate analysis of variance, and one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Statistical significance was based on p value < 0.05. Results Ficus religiosa powder at all the three doses i.e. 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg produced a significant decrease in the elevated FPG levels in diabetic rats. A dose dependent response was also noticed, with a more pronounced effect at a dose of 400 mg/kg than at 200 mg/kg which in turn was more effective than 100 mg/kg dose. The hypoglycemic potential of Ficus religiosa at a dose of 400 mg/kg was nearly as effective as the standard drug. Plasma TNF-α levels also showed a dose dependent response with a maximum mean percent reduction at a dose of 400 mg/kg and minimum at a dose of 100 mg/kg. Conclusion: An effective and dose dependent curative effect of Ficus religiosa against hyperglycemic and elevated TNF-α in all the three doses i.e. 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg was evident with the most pronounced effect at 400 mg/kg. This favorable modulation of cytokine TNF-α by Ficus religiosa may be responsible for its potent anti-diabetic activity.

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