With the increasing incidence of metabolic diseases, numerous bioactive phytochemicals have been proffered in the dietary prevention of these conditions. Palm fruit juice (PFJ) possesses bioactive phenolic compounds (referred to as oil palm phenolics; OPP) that may deter diabetes. The objective of the present experiments was to document the degree to which PFJ reduces diabetes symptoms in a variety of circumstances in the Nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus), a novel model for carbohydrate-induced type 2 diabetes (type 2 diabetes mellitus; T2DM) and the metabolic syndrome. Wild-type male Nile rats (n 100) were fed laboratory chow or semi-purified diabetogenic diets in five experiments lasting 4-36 weeks. PFJ was provided as a drink or mixed into the diet to provide OPP intakes from 170 to 720 mg gallic acid equivalents/kg body weight per d. Body weight and random and fasting blood glucose were assessed at different time points, and were analysed along with terminal fasting organ weights, insulin, plasma and liver lipids as measures of diabetes progression. PFJ proved to be anti-hyperglycaemic and anti-lipaemic in all experiments relative to untreated controls, delaying T2DM onset and even reversing advancing diabetes. Protection by PFJ was directly related to its OPP content, and no negative effects on energy intake or growth were observed. PFJ was effective both as a drink and mixed into the diet. Results suggest that PFJ may slow the rate of glucose absorption, reduce insulin resistance and/or enhance insulin secretion.
Keywords: CHO, carbohydrate; GAE, gallic acid equivalents; Glucose metabolism; Insulin metabolism; Nile rats; OPP, oil palm phenolics; Oil palm phenolics; PFJ, palm fruit juice; Palm fruit juice; T2DM, type 2 diabetes mellitus; TC, total cholesterol; Type 2 diabetes.