Protective Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica against Diabetes in Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rats

Heba Elshehy1*, Sally Salah1, Essam Abdel-Mawla2, Neveen Agamy3

1Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt. 2Aquaculture Research Center, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Egypt.

3Department of Nutrition, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt

*Corresponding Author Email Address: [email protected] 

Background: Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem worldwide. The cactus cladodes and fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica contain vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids; they are widely used in folk medicine for its health benefits such as hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant properties. The purpose of this study was to highlight the effect of Opuntia ficus-indica consumption on some biochemical parameters in diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: Sixty rats were divided into six groups (normal, untreated diabetic, diabetic rats’ groups treated with Opuntia cladode solution, fruit juice, combination of both and metformin). After four weeks, serum was collected to determine some biochemical parameters in different rats’ groups. Results: Treatment of diabetic rats with Opuntia cladode, fruit and combination revealed obvious elevation of body weight compared to the untreated diabetic rat group. There were significant reductions of fasting blood sugar level in all groups in relation to the untreated diabetic rats’ group with the highest reduction (59.6%) in rats treated with fruit juice. Urea concentration showed significant reductions in rats treated with fruit (38.16%). Cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly reduced compared to the untreated diabetic rat groups.

Conclusion: Opuntia ficus-indica cladode, fruit and combination improve hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, and renal function in diabetic experimental animals.
Keywords: Opuntia ficus-indica, Cladodes, Fruit, Diabetes.
Citation: Heba Elshehy, Sally Salah, Essam Abdel-Mawla, Neveen Agamy. Protective Effect of Opuntia ficus-indica against Diabetes in Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rats. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2020; 8 (2): 20-34.