ABSTRACT: In traditional medicine, Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) was used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Hyperglycemia in diabetes has been associated with increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative damage to tissue compounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of eucalyptus in the diet (20 g/Kg) and drinking water (2.5 g/L) on lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and antioxidant power in plasma and liver homogenate, as well as glycated-Hb (HbA(1C)) of blood in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats for a period of 4 weeks. Diabetes induced in rats by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 65 mg/Kg). At the end of the treatment period, the level of plasma glucose, plasma and liver malondialdehyde (MDA, the main product of lipid peroxidation), protein carbonyl (PC, one of the protein oxidation products) and HbA(1C) increased and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) decreased in diabetic rats compared to normal rats. Eucalyptus administration for 4 weeks caused a significant decrease in the plasma glucose levels, plasma and liver MDA, PC and HbA(1C), also a concomitant increase in the levels of FRAP in diabetic treated rats. In conclusion, the present study showed that eucalyptus posses antioxidant activities. Eucalyptus probably restores antioxidant power, due to the improved hyperglycemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry 10/2009; 24(4):419-25.