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Background and Objective: Diabetes is a major global public health problem caused by impaired insulin secretion and action. The complications of diabetes are the leading cause of death in diabetic patients. In the present study, the effects of tetrahydrocurcumin (THU), a strong antioxidant are assessed on plasma glucose, insulin levels, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress in streptozotocin-nicotinamide (STZ-NA) diabetic rats.
Methods: Forty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups: 1) control, 2) control treated with THU (100 mg/kg/day), 3) diabetic, 4) diabetic treated with THU 50 mg/kg/day, and 5) diabetic treated with THU 100 mg/kg/day. Diabetes was induced by injection of STZ 55 mg/kg/day after a dose of NA 110 mg/kg/day. Eight weeks after oral administration of THU, plasma glucose levels, insulin levels, insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress markers including plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and plasma protein carbonyl, and antioxidant glutathione (GSH) levels were evaluated.
Results: Diabetic rats showed hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and impaired glucose tolerance, (p<0.05 compared with non-diabetic rats). These alterations were associated with oxidative stress, as the evidence of increasing MDA and protein carbonyl (p<0.05). Moreover, intracellular GSH were significantly decreased in those rats. Treatment with THU in dose-dependently decreased fasting blood glucose levels, improved insulin sensitivity, and alleviated oxidative stress in diabetic rats.
Conclusions: THU exerts a beneficial effect on minimizing hyperglycemia in diabetic rats. The mechanism might involve the glucose-lowering effect by improving insulin sensitivity, and antioxidant activity of THU.
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