Diabetes, a lifelong progressive disease, is the result of body's inability to produce insulin or use insulin to its full potential, and is characterized by high circulating glucose. This disease has reached epidemic proportion and has become one of the most challenging health problems of the 21st century. It is the fourth leading cause of death by disease globally; every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes - related causes (Kowluru & Chan, 2007).
India faces a grave health care burden due to the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes and its sequalae. Epidemiological data from different parts of the country show a rising prevalence of diabetes in the urban areas. There is a wide urban-rural difference in the prevalence of diabetes indicating a major role for urbanization in the causation of the disease.
Liver is an insulin dependent tissue which plays a pivotal role in glucose and lipid homeostasis. It involves in the uptake, oxidation and metabolic conversion of free fatty acids, synthesis of cholesterol and phospholipids and secretion of specific classes of plasma lipoproteins (Brown et al., 1993). During diabetes, a profound alteration in the concentration and composition of lipids occurs.
The preventing activity of present day drugs against progressive nature of diabetes and its complications was modest and not always effective. The doubts about the efficacy and safety of the oral hypoglycemic agents have prompted a search for safer and more effective drugs in the treatment of diabetes.
The search of new herbal drugs for the treatment of DM is increasing, as they are non-toxic (Momin, 1987). Coccinia grandis distributed in tropical Asia, Africa and is commonly found in Pakistan, India and Srilanka (Cooke, 1903). Coccina is a climber and trailer. Every part of this plant is valuable in medicine and various preparations have been mentioned in indigenous system of medicine for various skin diseases, bronchitis and Unani systems of medicine for ring worm, psoriasis, small pox, scabies (Perry, 1980) and other itchy skin eruptions and ulcers (Behl et al., 1993). The plant is used in decoction for gonnorhoeae (Nadkarni, 1976), diabetes and also useful in dropsical condition, pyelitis, cystitis, strangury, snake bite, urinary gravel and calculi (Jayaweera, 1980; Nadkarni, 1976). In this accord, we have chosen Coccinia grandis leaf extract to treat Diabetes and its complications in streptozotocin induced diabetes.