Aim: Ocimum basilicum L (Lamiaceae) is used as a traditional remedy for different ailments, including diabetes mellitus. This study investigated the antidiabetic effects of an extract of aerial parts of O. basilicum.
Methods: Antihyperglycemic effect of the extract was determined by its effects on α-amylase and α-glucosidase in vitro, while antidiabetic properties were studied in alloxan induced diabetic rats treated for 28 days with extract and compared to those treated with oral metformin (150 mg/kg). The study and analysis was conducted between 2014 and 2015.
Results: The treatment with 100 and 200 mg/kg extract significantly (P < 0.05) reduced fasting blood glucose concentration and slightly increased mean body weight in treated groups. Oral glucose tolerance was also significantly (P < 0.05, 0.001) improved in 100 and 400 mg/kg extract-treated groups. The extract caused a dose-dependent increase in liver glycogen content, while it decreased alanine transferase (18.9-30.56%) and aspartate transferase (6.48-34.3%) levels in a non-dose-dependent manner. A dose of 100 mg/kg also reduced serum cholesterol and triglycerides by 19.3 and 39.54%, compared to a 2.6% reduction of cholesterol seen in the metformin-treated group. The extract was observed to produce significant (P < 0.001) concentration-dependent inhibition of α-glucosidase (35.71-100%) and also α-amylase (23.55-81.52%), with estimated inhibitory concentration values of 1.62 and 3.86 mg/mL, respectively.
Conclusions: The antidiabetic properties of the extract may be due to its ability to suppress endogenous glucose release, inhibit glycogenolysis and/or stimulate glycogenesis.
Keywords: Antidiabetic; Ocimum basilicum; diabetes mellitus; hyperglycemia.