Saponin Fraction of Gongronema latifolium Reverses Dyslipidemia and Catalyzes Glucokinase in Lowering Blood Glucose Sugar in Streptozocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

by G. O. Igile(1), I. A. Iwara(1), O. O. Ekpe(1), B. I. A. Mgbeje(1) and M. U. Eteng(1)


Objective: Gongronema latifolium (GL) is a bitter tasting leaf used in Nigeria as spice in food, and as herb for the treatment of diabetes, malaria and cardiovascular disease. Research work on the
anti-diabetic activities of the whole leaf extract has been carried out, but none on the saponin fraction of the leaf. A preliminary study showed that saponin-rich ethyl acetate fraction (GSF) of GL was active as an anti-diabetic agent. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sugar-lowering and anti-lipidemic effects of ethyl acetate saponin fraction (GSF) of GL in Streptozotocin-induced diabetic Albino Wistar rats. Methods: Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were treated with 200 mg/kg bw and 400 mg/kg bw dose of saponin fraction of Gongronema latifolium twice daily for 21 days. The effects of GL fraction on fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum glucose, serum insulin, body weight, total cholesterol (TC), HDL-c, LDL-c, VLDL-c, triglyceride (TG) and C-peptides concentrations were determined.
Results: After 21 days treatment, GSF administration showed significantly lower FBG
concentration compared to the diabetic control (DC) group. GSF increased serum insulin concentration and C-peptide levels dose-dependently. The fraction also decreased liver weight, liver cholesterol, plasma cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride concentration dose-dependently. GSF 1 and 2 increased HDL-c and lowered the plasma concentration of LDL-c and VLDL-c. GSF significantly (p<0.05) increased body weights of diabetic animals time-dependently taken at 7 days interval.
Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that GSF may provide alternative sugar-lowering effect in diabetes, and may have the potential to reverse dyslipidemia and improve body weight gain
in type 2 diabetes conditions.
Keywords: Diabetes, Gongronema latifolium, saponin-fraction, lipid cholesterol, hypoglycaemic,


1 – Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, P.M.B 1115,
Calabar, Nigeria.
Authors’ contributions
This work was carried out in collaboration between all authors. Author GOI designed the study and
principally carried out the research work and wrote the manuscript. Author IAI carried out all
Biochemical analysis and methodologies. Author OOE assisted in all laboratory research work and
methodologies. Author BIAM contributed in developing and writing the manuscript. Author MUE
directed the research work and contributed to key technical decisions. Generally, the conduct of the
experiment and writing of the script was done by all the authors. All authors read and approved the
final manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/JAMPS/2017/34310

Prof Mbeh Eteng

Mbeh Eteng is a Professor of Biochemistry in the Faculty of University of Calabar. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Calabar (2000). He was Dean of Faculty of Basic Medical Science (2012-2016) and Chairman Committee of Deans (2014-2015). Member Governing Board UCTH, Calabar (2018 -till date). Fellow, Institute of Co-operate Administration. His current area of research is on malaria/prostrate hyperplaxia and medicinal plants research and use in management. He has successfully supervised 25 Ph.Ds.
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