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Keywords:

  • Aloe vera;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • lipid profile;
  • streptozotocin

SUMMARY

  • 1
    The effect of diabetes mellitus on lipid metabolism is well established. The association of hyperglycaemia with an alteration of lipid parameters presents a major risk for cardiovascular complications in diabetes. Many secondary plant metabolites have been reported to possess lipid-lowering properties. The present study was designed to examine the potential antihyperlipidaemic efficacy of the ethanolic extract from Aloe vera leaf gel in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats.
  • 2
    Oral administration of Aloe vera gel extract at a dose of 300 mg/kg bodyweight per day to STZ-induced diabetic rats for a period of 21 days resulted in a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose, hepatic transaminases (aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase), plasma and tissue (liver and kidney) cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids and phospholipids and a significant improvement in plasma insulin.
  • 3
    In addition, the decreased plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol and increased plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein–and very low-density lipoprotein–cholesterol in diabetic rats were restored to near normal levels following treatment with the extract.
  • 4
    The fatty acid composition of the liver and kidney was analysed by gas chromatography. The altered fatty acid composition in the liver and kidney of diabetic rats was restored following treatment with the extract.
  • 5
    Thus, the results of the present study provide a scientific rationale for the use of Aloe vera as an antidiabetic agent.