Introduction: Argania spinosa L. (Sapotaceae) is an endemic species from south-western Morocco. This plant has many traditional uses including treatment of diabetes.
Aim of the study: The anti-diabetic effect of Argania spinosa leaf aqueous extract (A.S.L.A.E) was evaluated in both normal and streptozotocin(STZ)-induced diabetic rats treated at a dose of 20 mg/kg body weight for 15 days. The histopathological changes in liver have been evaluated. In addition, the antioxidant activity of this extract was studied.
Results: Single oral administration of A.S.L.A.E showed no significant change in blood glucose levels in both normal and STZ induced diabetic rats after 6 hours of administration. Furthermore, repeated oral administration of A.S.L.A.E showed a significant decrease in blood glucose levels in both normal and STZ diabetic rats (p<0.01; p<0.0001) respectively after fifteen days of treatment. According to the oral glucose tolerance test, the A.S.L.A.E (20 mg/kg) was shown to prevent significantly the increase on blood glucose levels in normal treated rats 30 min, 60 min and 120 min after glucose administration when compared to the control group. Moreover, A.S.L.A.E showed antioxidant activity and revealed an inhibitory concentration of 50% of free radicals (IC50) of 248.27μg/ml.
Conclusion: The results show that Argania spinosa leaf aqueous extract possesses significant antihyperglycemic activity.