Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder resulting from a defect in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. Insulin and Rothmannia hispida are among the anti-diabetic agents. This study therefore sought to establish the relative potency of insulin and R. hispida leaves extract in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Four groups of 5 albino Wistar rats each were made diabetic with alloxan (150 mg/kg), then treated with either extract (100 mg/kg) or insulin (1 unit) for 7 days or left untreated. The terminal blood glucose level of diabetic extract treated (DET) (4.40 ± 0.52 mmol/L) and diabetic insulin treated (DIT) (4.10 ± 0.48 mmol/L) were significantly (P < 0.001) lower compared with diabetic untreated (DUT) (22.00 ± 0.00 mmol/L). Terminal urine glucose was only present in DUT (42.60 ± 6.14 mmol/L). Terminal urine output was also significantly (P < 0.001) lower in DET (8.60 ± 1.17 ml) and DIT (8.80 ± 0.80 ml) compared with DUT (44.00 ± 1.48 ml). The DUT and DIT were also observed to have negative growth rates (-4.86 and -0.29 g/day respectively), whereas the controls and DET had positive growth rates (5.70 and 0.14 g/day respectively). Terminal blood glucose levels and urine output were not significantly different between DET and DIT. Therefore, 100 mg/kg body weight of theRothmannia hispida leaves extract is equally as potent as 1 unit of protamine-zinc insulin as an anti-diabetic agent.
Key words: Insulin, Rothmannia hispida, diabetes mellitus, rats.
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