Jose M. Oclarit and Liv Dumangas
Clarence Cavalida, Marlon Cabato, Frances Cero, Ryggie Comelon, Josephine Decolongo, Philippines
Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder wherein the body cannot process food as energy because of not enough insulin in the blood or the insulin receptors are no longer sensitive causing it not to react to increased glucose levels in the blood. Today, diabetes mellitus is one of the most common non-communicable disease in the world, ranking in the top five leading cause of death.1 Although many pharmacological therapy and remedies has been used to treat diabetes, some people use traditional medicine or herbal medicine to treat the condition. One of the herbs used is the tree spinach, also known as Cnidoscolus aconitifolius, a perennial shrub that grows fast with dark green called "chaya" in south Texas, is popular in Central America and native to Mexico.2 Several animal studies with chaya plant, showed hypoglycemic effects. Such functions and mechanisms of chaya plant mean the best natural anti-diabetic remedy for treatment of diabetes without any other effects shown in current prescribed anti-diabetic drug. The effect may be implicated by the flavonoids and saponins, which is a phytochemical of a Chaya leaf extract.3 The chemicals may have an insulin-like activity which may increase the glycogen storage in the liver.4 This study aims to demonstrate the insulin-like activity of Chaya leaf extract to both normal and induced-hyperglycemic mice (Mus musculus).
The locally famous plant “Chaya” (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius) was investigated for the insulin-like activity of its leaf extracts. Metabolic residues were obtained from the ethanolic supernatant fluid out of the leaves. Several treatments were given to mice (Mus musculus) using improvised gastric gavage. Three groups of experimental animal were used namely: Group I (5 mice as negative control, no chaya extracts and normal mice); Group II (5 mice given with chaya extracts and normal); and Group III (5 mice given with chaya extracts and induced-hyperglycemic condition through administration of 30% glucose solution). Glucose levels were monitored up to 6-hour period under fasting conditions. Statistical analysis using Scheffe test shows that Group I reduces from 97mg/dl to 84.8 mg/dl from initial value, Group II reduces from 101.8 mg/dl to 78.4 mg/dl from the initial value and Group III, in hyperglycemic condition, reduces from 375.2 mg/dl to 111.4 mg/dl from the initial value. Moreover, the results of glycogen levels showed that Group I stored at about 20.0 ug/mg , in Group II, 25.9 ug/mg, while Group III showed 32.1 ug of glucose per mg of liver tissue.
Keywords: Cnidoscolus aconitifolius, insulin, glycogen, chaya.