Aqueous extracts of mature leaves of Artocarpus heterophyllus (jak) are used by traditional medical practitioners in Sri Lanka and India for the treatment of diabetes. This study was conducted to investigate the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of an ethylacetate (EA) fraction of the mature leaves of A. heterophyllus in a streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rat model. In normoglycemic rats, administration of a single dose (20 mg/kg) of the EA fraction resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the fasting blood glucose concentration and a significant improvement in glucose tolerance (P < 0.05), compared to the controls. In STZ-induced diabetic rats, chronic administration of the EA fraction of A. heterophyllus leaves daily for 5 weeks resulted in a significant lowering of serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) levels. Compared to control diabetic rats, the extract-treated rats had 39% less serum glucose, 23% lower serum total cholesterol and 40% lower serum TG levels and 11% higher body weight at the end of the fifth week. The percentage reductions in the serum parameters mediated by the test fraction were comparable with those produced by glibenclamide (0.6 mg/kg), the reference drug used in this study. It can be concluded that the EA fraction of A. heterophyllus leaves contains one or more hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic principles which have the potential to be developed further for the treatment of diabetes specifically associated with a hyperlipidemic state.
Keywords: Artocarpus heterophyllus; ethylacetate; hypoglycemic activity; hypolipidemic; streptozotocin.