Background: Jering (Archidendron jiringa) is eaten in the tropics and traditionally extolled for treating diabetes, high blood pressure and eliminating bladder stones. Jering contains an unusual amino acid-djenkolic acid (S,S'-methylenebiscysteine)-which may form sharp crystals in the urinary tract, causing pain and haematuria. This study evaluates the beneficial and toxic effects of dietary jering on tissues and organs in normal and diabetic rats.
Results: Dietary jering administered orally to diabetic rats significantly reduced the blood glucose in the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats to normal levels after about 12 weeks. Jering improved the rats' appetite, body weight, organ oxidative status and number of active islets of Langerhans in both diabetic and normal rats, after 15 weeks of treatment. Although dietary jering showed beneficial effects to diabetic eye lens, lung and pancreas, it caused hypertrophy and lesions to the heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas of normal rats.
Conclusion: Chronic jering consumption showed toxic effects to the heart, kidney, liver and pancreas of normal rats but produced some beneficial effects to diabetic rats.
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