Diabetes

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Treatment of Diabetes mellitus was traditionally relied on dietary measures which included the use of plant therapies. Extracts from mistletoes were used in Nigerian folk medicin (Obatomi et al., 1994) and West Indies (Peters, 1957). In fact, aqueous extracts from the leaves of Loranthus bengwensis L. grown on lemon (Citrus limon L. Brum f., Rutaceae) and guava trees (Psidium guajava L., Myrtaceae) significantly decreased serum glucose levels in non-diabetic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, while mistletoe parasitic on jatropha (Jatropha curcas L, Euphorbiaceae) did not (Obatomi et al., 1994). Similarly, an extract from Viscum album supplied as 6.25% by weight of the diet for 9 d in streptocotocin diabetic mice resulted in relief of polydipsia, hyperphagia and body weight loss, while the plasma glucose or insulin concentrations remained unchanged (Swanston-Flatt et al., 1989). Further, an aqueous extract from dried Viscum album leaves and stems evoked a stimulation of insulin secretion from clonal pancreatic B cells (Gray and Flatt, 1999). These treatments warrant further evaluation.

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