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Background: African locust bean is a condiment believed to be for the people of low class. Its health importance has not been fully known especially to the so-called high class.
Aim: This study is aimed at investigating the effect of African locust bean on fasting blood sugar and lipid profile of albino rats.
Methods: African locust bean (ALB) was purchased from a local market at Orita-Challenge area of Ibadan, Nigeria. They were sun dried and milled into powder using an electronic blender. The powder was extracted with n-hexane (40–60°C) in a soxlet extractor for 18 hours. The defatted, dried marc was repacked and then extracted with methanol. The dried marc was extracted with methanol in the soxlet apparatus for 10 hours. The methanol solution was subsequently concentrated in a rotatory evaporator at 40°C. Ten adult male albino rats with body weight between 100 and 120 g were purchased from the Animal Holding Unit of the Department of Physiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. They were allowed 7 days acclimatization period and were divided randomly into 2 groups of five rats each. Animals in group 1 were administered normal saline solution while those in group 2 were administered extract of African locust bean. The animals were exposed to the African Locust Bean and saline solution at a dose of 3 ml per 100 g body weight 12 hourly via oral route of administration. After fourteen days of administration, the animals were fasted overnight and anaesthetized using diethyl ether. Blood samples were collected by cardiac puncture.
Results: ALB was observed to significantly lower fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol and triglyceride but increased HDL-cholesterol significantly when compared to those of the control group at p<0.05. LDL-cholesterol was not significantly different when animals treated with ALB were compared with those of the control group.
Conclusion: Increased blood sugar and hyperlipidemia has been implicated in diabetes. Cholesterolgenesis is a major onset of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, ALB can serve as prophylaxis and remedies for several diseases caused by hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia such as diabetes and coronary heart disease.
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