Oxidative stress plays an important role in diabetic pathogenesis. Rosmarinus officinalis L. was first used as an antioxidant agent for inhibition of diabetic nephropathy. Oxidative stress induced by Streptozotocin (STZ) has been shown to damage pancreatic beta cell and produce hyperglycemia in rats. In the present study, an attempt was made to examine the action of R. officinalis against experimental diabetes as well as the antioxidant potential of the leaf extract. Water extract of R. officinalis (200 mg/kg body weight for 21 days) was found to be significantly reducing the blood sugar level. The oxidative stress produced by Streptozotocin was found to be significantly lowered when compared to control rats. This was evident from a significant decrease in blood sugar level and oxidative stress makers including serum TBARS and nitric oxide (NO). Serum enzymatic (glutathione transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and non enzymatic antioxidants (vitamin C and reduced glutathione) were found to be increased by the administration of R. officinalis. These results indicate that R. officinalis extract effectively reduced the oxidative stress induced by Streptozotocin and potential reduction in blood sugar level.
Key words: Diabetes, hypoglycemia, oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes, Streptozotocin,Rosmarinus officinalis L.
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