Author(s): Viana GS
BACKGROUND: Cissus sicyoides (Vitaceae) is a medicinal plant popularly known in Brazil as "cipó-pucá, anil-trepador, cortina, and insulina". The plant is used in several diseases, including rheumatism, epilepsy, stroke and also in the treatment of diabetes. In the present work, we studied the hypoglycemic and anti-lipemic effects of the aqueous extract prepared from fresh leaves of the plant (AECS), in the model of alloxan-induced diabetes in rats. In addition, hepatic enzyme levels were also determined. RESULTS: Results showed that the daily treatment of diabetic rats with AECS for 7 days (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly decreased blood glucose levels in 25 and 22% respectively, as compared to the same groups before AECS treatment. No significant changes were seen in control diabetic rats before (48 h after alloxan administration) and after distilled water treatment. While no changes were seen in total cholesterol levels, a significant decrease was observed in plasma triglyceride levels, in the alloxan-induced diabetic rats after AECS treatment with both doses, as compared to the same groups before treatment. Significant decreases in blood glucose (25%) and triglyceride levels (48%) were also observed in the alloxan-induced diabetic rats after 4 days treatment with AECS (200 mg/kg, p.o.). Aspartate (AST) and alanine (ALT) aminotransferases levels, in diabetic controls and AECS-treated rats, were in the range of reference values presented by normal rats.
CONCLUSIONS: The results justify the popular use of C. sicyoides, pointing out to the potential benefit of the plant aqueous extract (AECS) in alternative medicine, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.