The Corchorus olitorius seeds were pulverized (grounded) to powder. The powdered seed (200 g) was extracted with 500 ml of ethanol (99.9%) within a period of 24 h and the procedure repeated 3 times using the same powdered extract. Extraction and fractionation were carried out with some modification in the choice of primary solvent (water) and partitioning (separating) solvents (hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and butanol). The fractions obtained (hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, saturated butanol and last remaining aqueous) were tested for antidiabetic and phytochemical properties. Two doses were employed while testing in diabetic rats, 500 and 250 mg/kg body weight. Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of 150 mg/kg body wt alloxan (Sigma) in saline. Animals with a blood glucose level ≥ 150 mg/dl were considered diabetics. All the fractions had some bioactivity in alloxan induced diabetic rats. The activity being better with the 500 mg doses than the 250 mg. Statistical significance (p Ë‚ 0.05) in bioactivity (blood sugar change) was only seen with the aqueous fraction (1 h post treatment), chloroform fraction (1, 3 and 4 h post treatment) and the ethyl acetate fraction (2 and 3 h post treatment). The action of the seed extract can be attributed to phytochemical content of the extract. Of these flavanoids, alkaloids, saponins have been reported to have hypoglycaemic effect.
Key words: Corchorus olitorius (CO), alloxan induced diabetic rat, fractionation, antidiabetic, phytochemical.
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