Background: Oxidative stress, produced under diabetic conditions, may cause tissue damage. Although several drugs are currently available for the treatment of diabetes, their continued use may cause unwanted side effects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antioxidant potential of β-sitosterol (BS), a phytosterol from Solanum surattense, using an experimental model for diabetes-induced oxidative damage.
Methods: The effects of 21 days treatment with BS (10, 15 and 20 mg/kg, p.o.) on blood, serum, and tissue biochemical parameters were evaluated in control and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Nine experimental groups, including a control group, a diabetic group, and BS- and glibenclamide-treated diabetic groups, were evaluated.
Results: All three dose levels dose dependently resulted in decreases in glycated hemoglobin, serum glucose, and nitric oxide, with concomitant increases in serum insulin levels. Furthermore, treatment with BS doses also increased pancreatic antioxidant levels, with a concomitant decrease in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances.
Conclusions: β-Sitosterol has promising antidiabetic as well as antioxidant effects and may be considered in clinical studies for drug development.