Submitted: 28 Apr 2013
Revised: 24 Jul 2013
Accepted: 16 Aug 2013
First published online: 28 Sep 2013
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Avicenna J Med Biochem. 2013;1(1):7-13.

Research Article

Anti-diabetic effects of aqueous extracts of three Iranian medicinal plants in type 2 diabetic rats induced by high fructose diet

Mohammad Taghi Goodarzi 1 * , Amir Sasan Tootoonchi 1, Jamshid Karimi 2, Ebrahim Abbasi Oshaghi 3

1 Research Center for Molecular Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
2 Deptartment of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
3 Student Research Committee, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
Mohammad Taghi Goodarzi Tel:+98 8118380462 Fax:+988118390208 Email:


Objectives: Insulin resistance has been considered as the most important component of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). Plants used in folk medicine to treat diabetes mellitus represent a viable alternative for the control of this disease. This study was aimed to examine the antidiabetic effects of three Iranian medicinal plants i.e. Urtica dioica, Trigonella foenum-graecum and Fumaria officinalis in an animal model of DM2.

Methods: : Diabetes was induced in male Wistar rats (6-8 weeks old) by feeding 21% fructose in drinking water for 8 weeks. They were treated with aqueous extracts (10%) of three medicinal plants (Urtica dioica, Trigonella foenum-graecum and Fumaria officinalis) for 8 weeks. After diabetes induction and the last day of the experiment, body weight, fasting blood glucose, plasma insulin, urine volume and glucose were assayed.

Results: : Blood glucose, plasma insulin, urine glucose and urine volume were increased significantly after 8 weeks of high fructose feeding (P<0.05); the aqueous extracts of Urtica dioica reduced the blood and urine glucose and also the aqueous extracts of Trigonell Foenum diminished the insulin, weight and blood glucose in comparison with the high fructose-fed control group (P<0.05).

Conclusion: The obtained data in this study showed hypoglycemia effects of Trigonell Foenum and Urtica dioica extracts. Also our findings indicated that the hypoglycemia effect of Trigonell Foenum extract is in part by improvement of insulin resistance. These results can be extrapolated to humans and these extracts might be useful in the treatment of insulin resistance.

Keywords: Glucose; Hypoglycemic Agents; Insulin Resistance; Trigonella; Urtica dioica