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Assessment of anti-diabetic properties of the prickly pear cactus in Swiss white mice

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dc.contributor.author Mokua, Moraa Peris
dc.date.issued 2016-11
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-27T12:24:41Z
dc.date.available 2019-02-27T12:24:41Z
dc.description.abstract Diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to make or use insulin, has become a major public-health issue globally. This is because of the numerous health problems it causes to humans including: brain damage, heart and renal diseases, circulatory problems, and death. The onset of diabetes mellitus can be due to various causes including genetic that leads mainly to development of Type I diabetes mellitus and the lifestyle of an individual that leads to obesity, a common cause of the Type II diabetes. Various management strategies have been proposed and implemented with the most recent one being the use of extracts of the “prickly pear cactus” Opuntia species, a shrub that grows mainly in semi-arid regions of America, Asia and Africa. The current study aimed at assessing the efficacy of prickly pear cactus cladode extracts in managing diabetes mellitus in diabetic mice and its possible cytotoxic effects. Healthy, adult Swiss white albino male mice weighing 20-30 g were induced with diabetes mellitus using Alloxan (150 mg/kg body weight) administered intra-peritoneally. Prickly pear cactus cladode extracts were administered orally at daily dosages of 0.6 ml and 0.8 ml for pre-determined periods. Fasting blood sugar levels, live body weights and packed cell volume values were monitored during and after termination of feeding on cactus cladode extracts. Liver and kidney tissues were obtained at the end of the experiment and processed for histopathological examination. Alloxan administration caused a 3- to 4-fold increase in blood sugar levels. Diabetic animals treated with cactus cladode extracts showed a decline in blood sugar levels, however, the levels varied with the period of treatment. Diabetic animals treated with cactus cladode extracts for 10 days showed a significant decline in blood sugar levels on the 7th (p=0.012) and 10th (p=0.001) days of feeding on the extracts when compared to the diabetic control animals. Histopathological examination revealed kidneys sections characterised with normal renal architecture. Mild degenerative changes were observed in liver sections of diabetic treated animals. No mortality was reported throughout the experiment. This study has demonstrated that extracts from prickly pear cactus cladode from Kenya have potential in managing blood sugar in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. This study has also demonstrated that cactus cladode extracts minimises the effects of diabetes mellitus on kidneys and liver of diabetic mice. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Egerton University en_US
dc.subject Anti-diabetic properties -- Prickly pear cactus en_US
dc.title Assessment of anti-diabetic properties of the prickly pear cactus in Swiss white mice en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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