Medicinal plants constitute an important source of potential therapeutic agents for diabetes. In the present study, we investigated the effects of Moringa oleifera (MO) Lam, Moringacea, on glucose tolerance in Wistar rats and Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, modeled type 2 diabetes. Major polyphenols in MO powder were quercetin glucosides, rutin, kaempferol glycosides and chlorogenic acids by HPLC analysis. As the results of glucose tolerance test, MO significantly decreased the blood glucose at 20, 30, 45and 60 min for GK rats and at 10, 30 and 45 min for Wistar rats (p<0.05) compared to the both controls after glucose administration. The area under the curve of changes in the blood glucose was significantly higher in the GK control group than in the GK plus MO group (p<0.05) in the periods 30-60 min and 60-120 min. Furthermore, MO significantly decreased stomach emptying in GK rats (p<0.05). The results indicated that MO has an ameliorating effect for glucose intolerance, and the effect might be mediated by quercetin-3-glucoside and fiber contents in MO leaf powder. The action of MO was greater in GK rats than in Wistar rats.
Keywords: Goto-Kakizaki rat; Moringa oleifera; diabetes; glucose tolerance; quercetin glucoside.