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Antidiabetic effect of extracts of the seeds of Citrullus lanatus

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The current epidemic of diabetes mellitus (DM) in Africa, coupled with impinging poverty, clearly indicates the urgent need to develop new therapeutic drugs of cheaper and more available to face this growing health challenge. A number of plants products among which the protein-rich seeds including Citrullus lanatus, Telfairia occidentalis, Lagenaria siceraria, Cucumeropsis mannii and Cucurbita moschata are commonly used in traditional medicine with increasing acclaimed efficacy against DM (Teugwa et al., 2013). Diabetes mellitus is a major illness of the human race implicated with numerous clinical manifestations. It is a clinical syndrome characterized by chronic hyperglycemia (defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both) resulting in aberration in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. It has been reported that the chronic hyperglycemia of diabetes is associated with complications like renal failure, coronary artery disorder, neurological complications, cerebrovascular disease, blindness, and limb amputation, long term dysfunctions and failure of various organs and eventually premature death).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) projections, the diabetes population is likely to increase to 300 million or more by the year 2025. The high cost of conventional drugs and their unavailability in many rural areas, coupled with their high incidence of side effects, posed a dare need for a change of the affair in case of modern medicine. Thus, the management of diabetes without any side effect is still a major challenge. According to the WHO, approximately 80% of the world’s population currently uses herbal medicines in healing different ailments. However, among the estimated 400,000 plant species, only 6% have been studied for biological activity, and about 15% have been investigated phytochemically. This shows a need for planned activity guided phyto-pharmacological evaluation of herbal drugs. The aim of this study was to phytochemically analyse and evaluate the antidiabetic activity of the seeds of Citrullus lanatus.


Plant material

Seeds of Citrullus lanatus were collected from Unguwar Rimi market, Kaduna north, Kaduna. The seeds were bench dried for eleven days and pulverized into coarse powder and kept in polythene bags at room temperature, ready for extraction.

Extraction of plant material

The dried pulverized seed (300g) was macerated with 1000 mls of petroleum ether (60-80 °C) for three days at room temperature and filtered and this was repeated twice. The combined filtrate was distilled using a rotary evaporator and then air-dried to obtain the petroleum ether extract. This procedure was repeated using ethanol on the residue of the seeds and after filtration the combined filtrate was then distilled to afford the ethanol extracts. Sildenafil Citrate in Discount Canadian Store. Watch on this website:

Phytochemical screening

Phytochemical screening was carried out on the two extracts (petroleum ether and ethanol) of Citrullus lanatus peel using standard procedures and tests (Trease and Evans, 1989; Sofowora, 1993) to determine the presence of alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, flavonoids, reducing sugar, anthraquinones, and saponins.

Pharmacological study


White albino mice (22-32g) of both sexes obtained from biochemistry department Kaduna state University, Kaduna were used for the experiment. The animals were kept under standard environmental conditions of temperature, relative humidity, and fed with standardized pellets and water ad libitum during the period in aluminum cages. The mice were fasted for 12hrs before experimentation but were allowed free access to water.

Experimental design

Hyperglycemia was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 150mg/kg body weight alloxan monohydrate, freshly dissolved in regular saline 0.9% physiological saline immediately before use, to overnight fasted albino mice. After 7 days, animals with fasting blood glucose level ≥126 mg/dl (≥7.0 mmol/dl) or more were considered diabetic and employed in the study. The mice were then grouped into 5 groups of five mice each as follows:

Group 1: Served as positive control and received glibenclamide (2 ml/kg body weight)
Group 2: Served as negative control receiving physiological saline (10 ml/kg)
Group 3: Received petroleum ether extract at 150 mg/kg body weight
Group 4: Received petroleum ether extract at 200 mg/kg
Group 5: Received petroleum ether extract at 250 mg/kg
Group 6: Received ethanol extract at 150 mg/kg body weight
Group 7: Received ethanol extract at 200 mg/kg Group 8: Received ethanol extract at 250 mg/kg

The animals were treated once with each dose and fasting blood glucose concentrations were measured at 0, 1, 3, 6 and 12 hours. Blood samples were taken by a snip-cut at the tip of the tail and blood sugar level was measured with a glucometer (a ONE TOUCH Ultra easy blood glucose monitoring system. Twitter Canadian Pharmacy – hot infortmation about sexual health, discounts in best Canadian Pharmacies.

Statistical Analysis

All the values of fasting blood glucose were expressed as mean ± SEM (n=5) and statistical significances between the treated and control groups (glibenclamide and physiological saline) were analyzed by means of Student’s t-test; P values <0.05 were considered significant.