Objectives: Persistent hyperglycaemia results in oxidative stress along with the generation of oxygen free radicals and appears to be an important factor in the production of secondary complications in diabetes. The aim of this work was to evaluate markers of oxidative stress in heart tissue along with the protective, antioxidant and antidiabetic activity of 30%Aloe vera gel in diabetic rats.
Methods: Streptozocin was given as a single intravenous injection and 30%Aloe vera gel was given in two doses for 20 days, orally. Blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, blood reduced glutathione, serum lactate dehydrogenase and serum creatine kinase levels were measured on day 21 after drug treatment. Heart rate and mean blood pressure were recorded at the end of the study. Different biochemical variables were evaluated in the heart tissue, including thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase in diabetic and in Aloe vera-treated diabetic rats.
Key findings: In streptozocin diabetic rats, the TBARS level was increased significantly, superoxide dismutase and reduced glutathione significantly decreased, and the catalase level was significantly increased. Aloe vera 30% gel (200 mg/kg) treatment in diabetic rats reduced the increased TBARS and maintained the superoxide dismutase and catalase activity up to the normal level. Aloe vera gel increased reduced glutathione by four times in diabetic rats.
Conclusions: Aloe vera gel at 200 mg/kg had significant antidiabetic and cardioprotective activity.