Some pharmacological effects of cinnamon and ginger herbs in obese diabetic rats

J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. Oct-Dec 2014;3(4):144-9. doi: 10.5455/jice.20140818050741. Epub 2014 Aug 27.


Aims: The present study was designed to assess some pharmacological effects of cinnamon (CAE) and ginger (GAE) aqueous extracts in obese diabetic rats, and to elucidate the potential mechanisms.

Materials and methods: Forty-two Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into 6 equal groups. Group 1 was a negative control and the other groups were rendered obese by feeding rats on high-fat diet for 4 weeks. The obese rats were subcutaneously injected with alloxan for 5*days to induce diabetes. Group 2 was a positive control, and Groups 3, 4, 5 and 6 were orally given CAE in doses 200 and 400 mg/kg and GAE in the same doses, respectively for 6 weeks. Blood samples were collected for serum biochemical analyses. Kidneys were dissected out to assay activity of tissue antioxidant enzymes: Superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase.

Results: CAE and GAE significantly reduced body weight and body fat mass; normalized serum levels of liver enzymes; improved lipid profile; decreased blood glucose and leptin and increased insulin serum levels in obese diabetic rats. Both extracts also increased activity of kidney antioxidant enzymes.

Conclusion: CAE and GAE exhibit anti-obesity, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, antidiabetic and anti-oxidant effects in obese diabetic rats. These results confirm the previous reports on both extracts. The potential mechanisms underlying these effects are fully discussed and clarified. Our results affirm the traditional use of cinnamon and ginger for treating patients suffering from obesity and diabetes. The obese diabetic rat model used in this study is a novel animal model used in pharmacology researches.

Keywords: Anti-obesity; anti-diabetic; anti-oxidant; biochemical analyses; cinnamon; ginger; hepatoprotective; hypolipidemic.