Hypoglycaemic role of wheatgrass and its effect on carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in type II diabetic rats

Toxicol Ind Health. 2016 Jun;32(6):1026-32. doi: 10.1177/0748233714545202. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Insulin resistance and insulin insufficiency is the major factor for the prognosis of type II diabetes. Consistent high glucose level leads to multiple secondary complications in diabetic patients. Hence, hypoglycaemic drugs are of significance for reducing the risk of secondary complications in type II diabetes. Various hypoglycaemic drugs are already available in the market, but they are associated with several side effects. Therefore, traditional herbs have emerged as safer alternative for effective hypoglycaemic treatment. The juvenile grass of common wheat is known as wheatgrass (WG). It is commonly used as a health drink and has potent antioxidant efficacy. It has been used to cure DM in folk medicine. The current study was planned to test the hypoglycaemic effect and pathways regulated by WG on DM. We analysed the glucose and insulin levels in plasma, the activity of glucose oxidative enzymes, hexokinase and glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase, in serum and glycogen levels in liver of the male albino Wistar rats. Activity of glucose oxidative enzymes and the levels of insulin and liver glycogen were decreased in rats with diabetes, but they were reversed on treatment with WG. Hence, we conclude that WG can act as a potent anti-hyperglycaemic agent.

Keywords: G6PD; Type II diabetes mellitus; glucose; hexokinase; wheatgrass.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Hexokinase / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Glycogen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Prognosis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triticum / chemistry*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Plant Preparations
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • Hexokinase