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1.  Antidiabetic Properties of Azardiracta indica and Bougainvillea spectabilis: In Vivo Studies in Murine Diabetes Model 
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic syndrome characterized by an increase in the blood glucose level. Treatment of diabetes is complicated due to multifactorial nature of the disease. Azadirachta indica Adr. Juss and Bougainvillea spectabilis are reported to have medicinal values including antidiabetic properties. In the present study using invivo diabetic murine model, A. indica and B. spectabilis chloroform, methanolic and aqueous extracts were investigated for the biochemical parameters important for controlling diabetes. It was found that A. indica chloroform extract and B. spectabilis aqueous, methanolic extracts showed a good oral glucose tolerance and significantly reduced the intestinal glucosidase activity. Interestingly, A. indica chloroform and B. spectabilis aqueous extracts showed significant increase in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity and hepatic, skeletal muscle glycogen content after 21 days of treatment. In immunohistochemical analysis, we observed a regeneration of insulin-producing cells and corresponding increase in the plasma insulin and c-peptide levels with the treatment of A. indica chloroform and B. spectabilis aqueous, methanolic extracts. Analyzing the results, it is clear that A. indica chloroform and B. spectabilis aqueous extracts are good candidates for developing new neutraceuticals treatment for diabetes.
doi:10.1093/ecam/nep033
PMCID: PMC3136679  PMID: 19389871
2.  Antidiabetic Indian Plants: A Good Source of Potent Amylase Inhibitors 
Diabetes is known as a multifactorial disease. The treatment of diabetes (Type II) is complicated due to the inherent patho-physiological factors related to this disease. One of the complications of diabetes is post-prandial hyperglycemia (PPHG). Glucosidase inhibitors, particularly α-amylase inhibitors are a class of compounds that helps in managing PPHG. Six ethno-botanically known plants having antidiabetic property namely, Azadirachta indica Adr. Juss.; Murraya koenigii (L.) Sprengel; Ocimum tenuflorum (L.) (syn: Sanctum); Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels (syn: Eugenia jambolana); Linum usitatissimum (L.) and Bougainvillea spectabilis were tested for their ability to inhibit glucosidase activity. The chloroform, methanol and aqueous extracts were prepared sequentially from either leaves or seeds of these plants. It was observed that the chloroform extract of O. tenuflorum; B. spectabilis; M. koenigii and S. cumini have significant α-amylase inhibitory property. Plants extracts were further tested against murine pancreatic, liver and small intestinal crude enzyme preparations for glucosidase inhibitory activity. The three extracts of O. tenuflorum and chloroform extract of M. koenigi showed good inhibition of murine pancreatic and intestinal glucosidases as compared with acarbose, a known glucosidase inhibitor.
doi:10.1093/ecam/nen040
PMCID: PMC3137644  PMID: 18955350
3.  Potent α-amylase inhibitory activity of Indian Ayurvedic medicinal plants 
Background
Indian medicinal plants used in the Ayurvedic traditional system to treat diabetes are a valuable source of novel anti-diabetic agents. Pancreatic α-amylase inhibitors offer an effective strategy to lower the levels of post-prandial hyperglycemia via control of starch breakdown. In this study, seventeen Indian medicinal plants with known hypoglycemic properties were subjected to sequential solvent extraction and tested for α-amylase inhibition, in order to assess and evaluate their inhibitory potential on PPA (porcine pancreatic α-amylase). Preliminary phytochemical analysis of the lead extracts was performed in order to determine the probable constituents.
Methods
Analysis of the 126 extracts, obtained from 17 plants (Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f., Adansonia digitata L., Allium sativum L., Casia fistula L., Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don., Cinnamomum verum Persl., Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt., Linum usitatisumum L., Mangifera indica L., Morus alba L., Nerium oleander L., Ocimum tenuiflorum L., Piper nigrum L., Terminalia chebula Retz., Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers., Trigonella foenum-graceum L., Zingiber officinale Rosc.) for PPA inhibition was initially performed qualitatively by starch-iodine colour assay. The lead extracts were further quantified with respect to PPA inhibition using the chromogenic DNSA (3, 5-dinitrosalicylic acid) method. Phytochemical constituents of the extracts exhibiting≥ 50% inhibition were analysed qualitatively as well as by GC-MS (Gas chromatography-Mass spectrometry).
Results
Of the 126 extracts obtained from 17 plants, 17 extracts exhibited PPA inhibitory potential to varying degrees (10%-60.5%) while 4 extracts showed low inhibition (< 10%). However, strong porcine pancreatic amylase inhibitory activity (> 50%) was obtained with 3 isopropanol extracts. All these 3 extracts exhibited concentration dependent inhibition with IC50 values, viz., seeds of Linum usitatisumum (540 μgml-1), leaves of Morus alba (1440 μgml-1) and Ocimum tenuiflorum (8.9 μgml-1). Acarbose as the standard inhibitor exhibited an IC50 (half maximal inhibitory concentration)value of 10.2 μgml-1. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, saponins and steroids with the major phytoconstituents being identified by GC-MS.
Conclusions
This study endorses the use of these plants for further studies to determine their potential for type 2 diabetes management. Results suggests that extracts of Linum usitatisumum, Morus alba and Ocimum tenuiflorum act effectively as PPA inhibitors leading to a reduction in starch hydrolysis and hence eventually to lowered glucose levels.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-5
PMCID: PMC3037352  PMID: 21251279

Results 1-3 (3)