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Fijian medicinal plants and their role in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Pritika Mala, , Romila Gopalan, Desta Gedefaw, Katy Soapi
Published: 16 November 2022

Abstract: Medicinal plants (MPs) are natural sources of active compounds with potential therapeutic benefits in alleviating various illnesses for decades. Fijian people also are using these MPs for the management/prevention of T2DM and associated complications. However, till date, none of these Fijian MP’s antidiabetic potential have been explored/or evaluated. Here, we investigated the antidiabetic potential of Fijian MPs scientifically. Phytochemicals such as polyphenols were detected to inhibit the activity of α-amylase and α-glucosidase; the two key carbohydrate enzymes linked to T2DM. Therefore, in this study, TPC, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of five Fijian MPs were collected & evaluated.The ME extracts of BO (0.102 ± 0.009 mM CE) and DC (0.098 ± 0.09 mM CE) showed a higher TPC compared to the control. The ME extracts of MF and MR inhibited α-glucosidase significantly in compare to acarbose as evidenced from the IC50 values (IC50 of MF = 1.58 ± 0.03 ng/µL; IC50 of MR = 1.87 ± 0.43 ng/µL and IC50 of acarbose = 3.34 ± 0.15 ng/µL). Moreover, DM extracts of MR (IC50 = 1.31 ± 0.29 ng/µL) also showed significantly higher α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. In contrary, MR (IC50 = 16.18 ± 0.16 ng/µL) and CL (IC50 = 9.21 ± 0.51 ng/µL) also showed significant α-amylase inhibitory activity in ME and DM extracts, respectively. These, results suggest that Fijian MPs could be a potential source of natural inhibitors of enzymes involved in carbohydrate digestion and thus may possibly be used in managing T2DM.
Keywords: type 2 diabetes / medicinal plants / free radicals / alpha amylase

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