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Subacute effects of Coscinium fenestratum ethanol extract (CFE) on blood glucose levels and blood chemistry in normal and diabetic rats were studied by feeding CFE 500 mg/kg/day for 30 days. We measured body weight of each rat everyday. In addition, the fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels were measured at day 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 after CFE feeding using glucose oxidase test. Blood chemistry values were determined before (day 0) and after CFE feeding (day 31). Then, the organs, including liver, pancreas, kidney, heart, spleen and lung were collected for pathology examination at the end of the study. We found that the increment of body weight in normal treated group was significantly lower than that in normal control group (P< 0.05), however there was no difference between diabetic-controlled and -treated groups. Interestingly, CFE significantly decreased blood glucose levels in diabetic, but not normal rats. It did not alter serum cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL levels in normal rats. In diabetic treated rats, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were slightly decreased while HDL was significantly increased (P<0.05) after CFE feeding. Although CFE did not affect the levels of AST and ALT in serum of all rats, it elevated both serum BUN and creatinine levels in normal rats. These findings were parallel with histological changes in the kidney of normal CFE fed rats, i.e. tubular cells degeneration and renal cell death. At the end of experiment, serum BUN levels were increased, but serum creatinine levels were not changed in both diabetic-control and -treated groups. In addition, the renal cells of these two groups of rat were normal. In conclusion, C. fenestratum ethanol extract decreased blood glucose levels in diabetic rats. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels were slightly decreased while HDL was significantly increased (P<0.05) after CFE feeding. However, its effect on renal function should be concerned and more toxicological data on renal toxicity should be studied to establish the safety of this extract.
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