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The purpose of this study was to investigate the antidiabetic property and antioxidant potentials of ethanol extract of Azadirachta indica leaves in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The phytochemical analysis was done using standard phytochemical methods. Diabetes was induced in the rats by a single intraperitoneal dose of 50mg/kg body weight of streptozotocin. Blood glucose levels of diabetic rats were measured at two days interval during the 28 days of treatment. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) activity, Catalase (CAT) activity and Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) activity were determined using standard diagnostic methods. Lipid peroxidation was determined by the thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances (TBARS) assay method. Qualitative Phytochemical screening revealed that the ethanol extract of A. indica leaf contains saponin in substantial quantity. Alkaloids and Tannins were moderately present while cardiac glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids and phenols were detected in a very minute quantity. The ethanol extract of A. indica leaf significantly (p<0.05) lowered the fasting blood glucose level of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. There was a significant (p<0.05) increase in the SOD activity (1.023±0.051) of the group of rats treated with the ethanol extract of neem leaf at a dose of 400mg/kg b.w compared with the diabetic untreated group (0.969±0.005). There was a significant (p<0.05) increase in the CAT activity (0.3050±0.4101) of the group of rats treated with the ethanol extract of neem leaf at a dose of 200mg/kg b.w compared with the diabetic untreated group (0.040±0.014). Also, there was a significant (p<0.05) increase in the GPx activity (2.623±0.516) of the group of rats treated with the ethanol extract of A. indica leaf at a dose of 400mg/kg b.w compared with the diabetic untreated group (0.790±0.226). The malondialdehyde (MDA) level (0.363±0.174, 0.313±0.0896 and 0.2875±0.0922) significantly (p<0.05) decreased in the groups administered graded doses (100, 200 and 400mg/kg b.w) of ethanol extract of A. indica leaf respectively compared with the diabetic untreated group (0.590±0.349). The ethanol extract contains important phytochemicals which may be responsible for its antidiabetic property and antioxidant potentials in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. It lowers blood glucose level in STZ-induced diabetic rats favourably towards recovery and improved health
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