Background: Carthamus tinctorius L. (Compositae) has been used in Iranian traditional medicine for treatment of diabetes. In this study, anti-diabetic effect of its hydroalcoholic extract was compared with that of glibenclamide.
Methods: MALE WHITE WISTAR RATS WERE RANDOMLY ALLOCATED INTO FOUR GROUPS OF SIX EACH: nondiabetic control; diabetic control; diabetic treated with hydroalcoholic extract of Carthamus tinctorius (200 mg kg(-1) BW); diabetic rats treated with glibenclamide (0.6 mg kg(-1) BW). Alloxan was administered (120 mg kg(-1) BW), intraperitoneally to induce diabetes. Fasting blood samples were collected three times, before injection of alloxan, two weeks and six weeks after injection of alloxan and fasting blood sugar (FBS), Hb A1C, insulin, cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, VLDL-C, triglyceride, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were measured each time.
Results: FBS, triglyceride, cholesterol, LDL-C and VLDL-C had a meaningful decrease in diabetic rats treated with Carthamus tinctorius and diabetic rats treated with glibenclamide as compared with diabetic rats with no treatment. Insulin level increased significantly in diabetic groups received treatment (glibenclamide or Carthamus tinctorius L) in comparison with diabetic group with no treatment. The histological study revealed size of islets of Langerhans enlarged significantly consequentially as compared with diabetic rats with no treatment. The extract appeared non toxic as evidenced by normal levels of AST, ALP and ALT. Effects of administrating glibenclamide or extract of Carthamus tinctorius L on all biochemical parameters discussed above showed no difference and both tend to bring the values to near normal.
Conclusion: These results suggested that the hydroalcoholic extract of Carthamus tinctorius possesses beneficial effect on treatment of diabetes.
Keywords: Alloxan; carthamus tinctorius L.; diabetes; glibenclamide; hydroalcoholic extract.