Aim: Evaluation of antidiabetic potential of polyherbal formulation containing copper nanoparticles.
Background: Copper, popularly known as “Tamra”, is well known for its use as Bhasma (incinerated
powder) in Ayurveda herbal preparations in Indian traditional system of medicine. Further, Trigonella
foenum- graecum, Allium sativum, Aloe vera and Phyllanthus niruri leaves are extensively cultivated in
all parts of India and are well known to possess antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic properties.
Objective: The objective of the present study is to investigate the effect of administration of incinerated
copper nanoparticle alone, polyherbal extracts of four herbs alone and combination of incinerated copper
nanoparticles-polyherbal extracts on streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods: Copper nanoparticles were prepared by media milling of incinerated copper
powder using a combination of Glycyrrhiza glabra and gum acacia as stabilizers. Aqueous extracts of
Trigonella foenum seeds, Allium sativum bulbs, Aloe vera and Phyllanthus niruri leaves were prepared.
The study was carried out for 28 days after drug administration. Blood glucose levels, body weight, haemoglobin,
biochemical parameters of blood and antioxidant levels and histopathological parameters of
liver, kidney and pancreas were studied.
Results: The study revealed improvement in body weight and reduction in serum glucose level in rats that
have been administered polyherbal extracts alone, copper nanoparticles alone and combination of polyherbal
extract and copper nanoparticles as compared to those treated with streptozotocin only (diabetic rats). However,
the response was found to be significantly less in case of rats of those groups, which were given either
the extracts alone or nanoparticles alone compared to that in the animals of groups that were administered a
combination therapy. Significant improvement in all the responses was observed in rats treated with high
doses of copper nanoparticles as compared to those with lower dose. Maximum improvement in body
weight and reduction in blood glucose was found in case of rats which were administered with 670 mg/kg
polyherbal extract (low dose) + 3.5 mg/kg copper nanoparticles (high dose). This was followed by rats
which were given the lower dose of combination therapy. Values of total haemoglobin, triglycerides, HDL,
total cholesterol, VLDL, SGOT, SGPT, ALP, serum creatinine content, urea, and antioxidant levels of rats
of group IX were almost similar to that of normal rats and glibenclamide treated rats (control).
Conclusion: The results from the study clearly indicated protective effect of co-administration of copper
nanoparticles and polyherbal extracts for effective treatment of diabetes over copper nanoparticles and
polyherbal extracts alone.