Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome characterized by the loss of glucose homeostasis due to several reasons. In spite of the presence of known anti-diabetic medicines in the pharmaceutical market, remedies from natural resources are used with success to treat this disease. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of coconut kernel protein (CKP) on alloxan induced diabetes in Sprague-Dawley rats. Diabetes was induced by injecting a single dose of alloxan (150mg/kg body weight) intraperitoneally. After inducing diabetes, purified CKP isolated from dried coconut kernel was administered to rats along with a semi synthetic diet for 45 days. After the experimental period, serum glucose, insulin, activities of different key enzymes involved in glucose metabolism, liver glycogen levels and the histopathology of the pancreas were evaluated. The amount of individual amino acids of CKP was also determined using HPLC. Results showed that CKP has significant amount of arginine. CKP feeding attenuated the increase in the glucose and insulin levels in diabetic rats. Glycogen levels in the liver and the activities of carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes in the serum of treated diabetic rats were reverted back to the normal levels compared to that of control. Histopathology revealed that CKP feeding reduced the diabetes related pancreatic damage in treated rats compared to the control. These results clearly demonstrated the potent anti-diabetic activity of CKP which may be probably due to its effect on pancreatic β cell regeneration through arginine.
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