Effect of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) Extract Supplementation in STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed with a High-Fat Diet

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Dec 22;18(1):13. doi: 10.3390/ijms18010013.


Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) lipophilic and polar extract dietary supplementation effects were evaluated according to diabetes management indices, using an in vivo model. A research pipeline was constructed, that ranged from extract preparation, partial chemical characterization and toxicity evaluation, to examining the elderberry extract dietary supplementation effects on biofluid and tissues. Extracts toxicity was screened using an Aliivibrio fischeri bioluminescence model. A concentration of up to 60 mg/L was selected, and rat doses for oral supplementation were computed applying the interspecies correlation between A. fischeri and rats. Wistar type 2 diabetic rats, induced by streptozotocin (STZ), were fed a high-fat diet and supplemented for 4 weeks at doses of 190 and 350 mg/kg body weight/day of lipophilic and polar extract, respectively. As far as we know, lipophilic elderberry extract supplementation was assessed for the first time, while polar extract was administrated at higher doses and for a shorter period compared to previous studies, aiming to evaluate subacute supplementation effects. The polar extract modulated glucose metabolism by correcting hyperglycemia, while the lipophilic extract lowered insulin secretion. Both extracts lowered insulin resistance, without remarkable alterations to hematological indices, sera lipids and sera and tissular trace element homeostasis. In conclusion, elderberries are a potential source of bioactive compounds for formulations to be used as co-adjuvants in diabetes management.

Keywords: Sambucus nigra L.; diabetic rats; elderberry extracts supplementation; high-fat diet; lipophilic extract; polar extract.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / etiology
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sambucus nigra / chemistry*
  • Streptozocin / toxicity


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Streptozocin