Reports from previous studies now provide evidence that dyslipidaemia and oxidative stress play crucial roles in the pathogenesis and progression of diabetes and its related complications. This research is aimed to investigate the potential effects of protein isolate from Parkia biglobosa
seeds (PBPI) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats by measuring blood glucose levels, changes in lipid metabolism and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Diabetic rats were treated orally with graded doses of PBPI, 200 mg/kg bw and 400 mg/kg bw, and 5 U/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.) of insulin once daily for 28 days with the fasting blood glucose (FBG) monitored weekly. The effect of PBPI on the serum lipid profile was measured while the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO), as well as antioxidant parameters (superoxide dismutase; SOD, catalase; CAT, glutathione-S-transferase; GST and total glutathione; total GSH), was determined in the cardiac homogenates of diabetic rats. At the tested doses, treatment with PBPI was significantly effective in lowering FBG, serum triglyceride, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-c), while concurrently increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c). PBPI also significantly decreased the elevations witnessed in LPO levels and restored the biomarkers of oxidative stress in the cardiac homogenate of experimental rats. The results from this study demonstrate that PBPI could improve dyslipidaemia and cardiac oxidative stress in the experimental diabetic animal model possibly by reducing and effectively scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) production as well as by increasing antioxidant capacity in combating oxidative stress. Therefore, it can be concluded that PBPI could be explored in the development of a potent cardioprotective supplement or adjuvant therapy towards the management of diabetes and its related complications.
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