This study investigated the effect of aqueous and ethanol soluble solid extracts of guava (Psidium guajava Linn.) leaves on hypoglycemia and glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetic rats. Low-dose streptozotocin (STZ) and nicotinamide were injected into Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats to induce type 2 diabetes. Acute and long-term feeding tests were carried out, and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to follow the changes in plasma glucose and insulin levels was performed to evaluate the antihyperglycemic effect of guava leaf extracts in diabetic rats. The results of acute and long-term feeding tests showed a significant reduction in the blood sugar level in diabetic rats fed with either the aqueous or ethanol extract of guava leaves (p < 0.05). Long-term administration of guava leaf extracts increased the plasma insulin level and glucose utilization in diabetic rats. The results also indicated that the activities of hepatic hexokinase, phosphofructokinase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in diabetic rats fed with aqueous extracts were higher than in the normal diabetic group (p < 0.05). On the other hand, diabetic rats treated with the ethanol extract raised the activities of hepatic hexokinase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (p < 0.05) only. The experiments provided evidence to support the antihyperglycemic effect of guava leaf extract and the health function of guava leaves against type 2 diabetes.
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