Background: Heracleum persicum (H. persicum) is a medicinal herb used in Iranian traditional medicine for its anti-toxic property. It is commonly consumed in the form of food additives and as a medicinal herbal tonic to treat liver and kidney diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, and anti-hyperlipidemic effects of H. persicum hydroalcoholic extract in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.
Methods: Adult male Wistar rats (n=30) were assigned to five groups; a normal group, a diabetic control group, and three diabetic groups treated orally with 200 and 400 mg/kg of the extract and 5 mg/kg of Glibenclamide, respectively, for two weeks. Blood glucose and body weight were measured at the end of each week. On day 15, blood samples were collected to measure the levels of insulin, insulin growth factor-I (IGF-I), antioxidant markers for malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione peroxidase (GPx); superoxide dismutase (SOD), total antioxidant activity (TAS), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG); high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) using commercial kits. The data were analyzed using SPSS Software (version 22.0).
Results: Daily treatment with 400 mg/kg of the extract significantly reduced the blood glucose level (P<0.001) and improved body weight (P=0.002), insulin (P<0.001), IGF-I (P=0.024), SOD (P=0.001), GPx (P=0.009), MDA (P<0.001), TAS (P=0.006), TG (P<0.001), HDL (P=0.023), LDL (P=0.005), and VLDL (P<0.001) compared to the diabetic control group.
Conclusion: Beneficial effects of H. persicum for the treatment of diabetes were confirmed.