THE EFFECTS OF SENNA TORA LEAVES EXTRACT ON THE BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS OF THE DIABETIC ALBINO RATS (A FOCUS ON DIABETES MELLITUS)
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which blood vessels of glucose (sugar) are high because the body does not produce or properly use insulin. There are two major forms of diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes develops when the pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cell resist insulin’s effect (Microsoft Encarta, 2009). This condition leads to elevated levels of blood glucose. The normal range of blood glucose level for blood glucose level is between 70-110mg/dl. Insulin is a hormone that helps to maintain normal blood glucose level by making the body’s cell absorbs glucose (sugar) so that it can be as a source of energy. In people with diabetes glucose levels build up in the blood and urine causing excessive urination, thirst, hunger and problems with fats and protein metabolism because the body cannot convert glucose into energy, it begins to break down stored fats for fuel. This produces increasing amounts of acidic compounds in the blood called ketone bodies which interfere with cellular respiration energy producing process in cells. Alloxan induces diabetes mellitus in rats. Alloxan, a beta cytotoxin, induces diabetes in a wide variety of animal species through damage of insulin secreting cell. In these animals, with characteristic similar to type 1 diabetes in humans. Hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia are common complications of diabetes mellitus. (Rerup, C. C. 1999).
Senna tora (originally described by Linne as cassia tora) is a legume in the subfamily caesalpiniodeae. It grows wild in most of the tropics and is considered a weed in many places. Its native range is not well known but probably South Asia. It is often confused with Chinese senna or sickle pods obtusifolia. If it is given a distinct common name at all, it is called sickle wild sensitive plant (nature serve, 200). It has a widely ranging tropical and the agro climatic conditions, which are conducive for introducing and domesticating new and exotic plant varieties. The use of the plants, plant extracts and pure compounds isolated from natural sources provided the foundation to modern pharmaceutical compounds. An ethno botanical search on fine species senna within and around Ogbomoso, Oyo state, Nigeria showed their relevance in the local herbal medicine. In the recent study, screening for hypoglycemic activity of the extract of senna tora was conducted to provide support for the use of this plant as traditional medicine. Phytochemical screening provides knowledge of the chemical constituents of this not only for the discovery of new therapeutic agents, but also for information in discovering new sources of other materials. The uses of senna tora include the following, used as liver stimulant, mild laxative, heart tonic, used in treatment of fever, used to treat eczema and dermatomycosis, etc.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
Therefore the goal of the study is to:
i. To determining the blood glucose levels of normal and Alloxan induced diabetic rats.
ii. To determine the effects of senna tora leaves extract on the blood glucose levels of the diabetic albino rats.
iii. To compare values before and after induction with Alloxan and senna tora leaves.