Researchers find therapeutic efficacy of leaf extracts of senna, radish in tackling type-2 diabetes

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A new study conducted by two Gujarat-based researchers has shown that leaf extracts of senna and radish have therapeutic potential to tackle type-2 diabetes and substantially reduce hyperglycemia. The research, done successfully on animal models, would be a boost to global efforts to develop an effective anti-diabetic herbal medication.

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that type-2 diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, the adverse effects associated with currently available synthetic anti-diabetic drugs are a matter of concern for researchers worldwide. Against this backdrop, traditionally used herbal medicines are getting increased attention globally. The experimentation, conducted by Deepti Kaushalkumar Jani of Barbaria Institute of Pharmacy and Sunita Goswami of LM College of Pharmacy, has proved that leaves of senna (cassia angustifolia) and radish (raphanus sativus) possess antioxidant, antihyperlipidemic and antihyperglycemic properties. The results were published last week in an international peer-reviewed journal for traditional and complementary medicine.

“Our study has successfully evaluated the anti-diabetic activity of senna and radish leaf extracts in high-fat diet and low dose streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus”, Jani told Pharmabiz in a telephonic interview. “Many studies have done in the past in search of new herbal drugs to treat diabetes. However, the lack of sufficient research on the effectiveness of raphanus sativus and cassia angustifolia leaf extracts as treatment option in diabetes indicates need for evaluation of anti-diabetic potential of these herbs”, she pointed out.

The study, conducted on female Sprague-dawley rats, was in accordance with the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals guidelines issued by the government of India. The leaves were procured by field collection and authenticated at KNK College of horticulture in Madhya Pradesh. “Our phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of various bioactive phytoconstituents in both extracts. Both contain flavonoids, plant pigments that possess antihyperglycemic, antiobesity and antioxidant activity. Presence of these constituents in the extracts of study plants strongly supports their synergistic effect for the treatment of diabetes,” Jani said.

Type-2 diabetes is often associated with dyslipidemia or abnormal amount of blood lipids. Chronic dyslipidemia leads to lipid deposition and pancreatic lipotoxicity, thus impairing insulin secretion and promoting the progression of the disease. According to the present research paper, reviewed by Pharmabiz, supplementation with leaf extracts is observed to reduce dyslipidemia significantly. The treatment also showed trend of increase in High Density Lipoprotein level in a dose dependent manner.

According to the researcher, there is enough evidence that extracts of these leaves can retard the risk of complications due to chronic hyperglycemia. “The beneficial effects of both the extracts in diabetes can be attributed to the synergistic effects of its bioactive compounds. Now we need to further explore the efficacy and toxicity of these extracts during long-term use,” Jani added.

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