This study was performed to investigate the anti-diabetic effect of citrus pectin in type 2 diabetic rats and its potential mechanism of action. The results showed that fasting blood glucose levels were significantly decreased after 4 weeks of citrus pectin administration. Citrus pectin improved glucose tolerance, hepatic glycogen content and blood lipid levels (TG, TC, LDL-c and HDL-c) in diabetic rats. Citrus pectin also significantly reduced insulin resistance, which played an important role in the resulting anti-diabetic effect. Moreover, after the pectin treatment, phosphorylated Akt expression was upregulated and GSK3β expression was downregulated, indicating that the potential anti-diabetic mechanism of citrus pectin might occur through regulation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Together, these results suggested that citrus pectin could ameliorate type 2 diabetes and potentially be used as an adjuvant treatment.
Keywords: Citrus pectin; Insulin signaling pathway; Type 2 diabetes.
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