Background: Corn silk is the elongated stigma of the female flower of Zea mays and traditionally
used to treat diabetes mellitus (DM).
Objective: To investigate the beneficial effects of corn silk extract (CSE) on HFD/STZ-induced diabetic
Methods: Establishment of a T2DM model through feeding HFD combined with STZ. T2DM was
randomly divided into 5 groups: diabetic control mice treated with vehicle (model group, n=10), metformin-
treated group (metformin: 150 mg/kg.d, n=10), three CS-treated groups (CS: 300, 600 and
1200 mg/kg.d, n=10). After four weeks of CS treatment, the body weight, FBG, IR, TC, TG, LDL-C,
MDA and SOD levels of mice were measured. In addition, the liver tissue was histomorphologically
analyzed by HE stain followed a light microscopy observation.
Results: 4-week CSE treatment significantly reduced FBG and enhanced the glucose tolerance; improved
IR indicated by decreased HOMA-IR and elevated ISI; alleviated hyperlipidemia indicated by
decreased TC, TG, LDL-C, and increased HDL-C; reduced oxidative stress by decreased MDA and
elevated SOD activity; decreased hepatic lipid accumulation and prevented liver tissue morphological
change in T2DM. In addition, CSE treatments effectively prevent the weight gain loss of diabetic mice.
Conclusion: These results confirmed the traditionally claimed benefits of corn silk on DM, which
suggested that the corn silk possessed the anti-diabetic potential and could be further developed as a
cheap and plant-derived agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.