The anti-diabetic and antioxidative effect of amaranth grain (AG) and its oil fraction (AO) was studied in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups after induction of STZ-diabetes: normal control; diabetic control; diabetic-AG supplement (500 g kg(-1) diet); diabetic-AO supplement (100 g kg(-1) diet) and fed experimental diets for 3 weeks. Serum glucose, insulin, activities of serum marker enzymes of liver function and liver cytosolic antioxidant enzymes were measured. The AG and AO supplement significantly decreased the serum glucose and increased serum insulin level in diabetic rats. Serum concentration of liver function marker enzymes, GOT and GPT, were also normalized by AG and AO treatment in diabetic rats. Liver cytosolic SOD and GSH-reductase activities were significantly increased, and catalase, peroxidase and GSH-Px activities were decreased in diabetic rats. AG and AO supplement reverted the antioxidant enzyme activities to near normal values. Hepatic lipid peroxide product was significantly higher, and GSH content was decreased in diabetic rats. However, AG and AO supplement normalized these values. Our data suggest that AG and AO supplement, as an antioxidant therapy, may be beneficial for correcting hyperglycaemia and preventing diabetic complications.
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