Effects of aqueous extract of alfalfa on hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in alloxan-induced diabetic Wistar rats

Interv Med Appl Sci. 2016 Sep;8(3):103-108. doi: 10.1556/1646.8.2016.3.5.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of aqueous extract of alfalfa on blood glucose and serum lipids in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

Materials and methods: Thirty-two adult male Wistar rats weighing 210-250 g were selected and divided randomly into four groups of eight animals each for 21 days as follows: (1) control group, (2) diabetic control group, (3) diabetic group plus aqueous extract of alfalfa (250 mg/l), and (4) diabetic group plus aqueous extract of alfalfa (500 mg/l). Serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), glucose, and the liver enzymes such as aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) were measured at the end of period in all studied groups.

Results: Administration of 250 and 500 mg/l aqueous alfalfa extract resulted in a significantly decreased glucose, TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL, ALT, and AST levels and increased HDL levels as compared with the control group and diabetic control group (p < 0.05). Histological examination showed that the aqueous alfalfa extract caused reconstruction of damaged liver and pancreas.

Conclusion: These results suggest that aqueous alfalfa extract revealed significant effects on blood lipids and glucose levels in diabetic rats and might be useful in prevention and treatment of diabetes. However, further studies are needed to determine the exact impacts of those effects.

Keywords: Wistar rats; alfalfa; alloxan; antidiabetic property; aqueous extract alfalfa; blood sugar; diabetes; lipid profile; plant extracts.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

Funding sources: None.