EFFECT OF MOMORDICA CHARANTIA LEAF FRACTIONS ON SERUM ELECTROLYTES AND RENAL FUNCTION INDICES IN ALLOXAN-INDUCED DIABETIC ALBINO RATS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1Background of study

Diabetes affects one hundred and thirty five million people in one year worldwide (King et.al., 1999) and this figure is projected to rise to three hundred million in 2025 ((King et. al.,1998). It is obvious that diabetes, a chronic non communicable disease, continues to have a tremendous impact on society in terms of the quality of life and straining health care resources. The costs incurred in managing or preventing it are enormous, both in Kenya and throughout the world. The disease causes substantial morbidity, mortality and long-term complications and remains a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In Africa, this disease continues to impact on the poverty levels of the people.

Diabetes mellitus is a systemic metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood glucose due to absolute oxidative stress may cause tissue to be more susceptible to oxidative damage and progression of disease in renal glomerolus (Brownlee, 2001; Yao et al., 2009).Histopathological evaluations on the diabetic kidney show expansion of mesangial matrix and uniform thickening of basement membranes in glomerulus and tubules (Ziyadeh and Wolf, 2008).

Since ancient times, plants have been a worthy source of medicine, which not only control hyperglycemia at low dosages but can also be taken for longer periods in contrast to synthetic hyperglycemic drugs (Grover et al., 2002). One of these plants is Momordica charantia (MC), also known as karalla, or bitter melon, which belongs to the cucurbitaceafamily, grows in tropical areas, including parts of the Amazon, east Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and is cultivated throughout South America as a food and medicine (Grover and Yadav, 2004).

The Momordica charantia (bitter melon) is a widely used plant in the traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM). It has been shown that Momordica charantia (Mc) has hypoglycemic effects on animals and humans, however, we don´t know if this effect is present in a chronic time and if the plant extract (stem and leaves) participates in the antihyperglycemic effect.

The Momordica charantia (MC) contains anti-hyperglycemic chemicals include glycosides, saponins, alkaloids, fixed oils, triterpenes, proteins and steroids (Murakami et al., 2001; Erden et al., 2010). These chemicals are concentrated in fruits of the Momordica charantia (MC), therefore fruit of the MC has shown more pronounced anti-hyperglycemic activity (Grover and Yadav, 2004). Presence of antioxidants in the fruits and vegetables such as vitamin C, E, carotenoids, lycopenes and flavonoids are also important in prevent free radical injury (Semiz and Sen, 2007). Total flavonoid and phenol contents ofMomordica charantia (MC) extract were analyzed and revealed that MC extract possess potent diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity (Wu and Ng, 2008). Several studies have reported the anti-diabetic effects of MC on renal functional and histological changes in alloxan albino rats but only limited data is available on the anti-diabetic effects of MC on renal functional and histological changes in rats. 1.1. Aim

The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of Momordica charantia leaf fractions on some serum electrolytes and renal biomarkers in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

1.1.0 Specific objectives

i.   To obtain fractions of Mormodica charantia leaf modified multi solvent serial extraction

ii.   To evaluate the effect of Mormodica charantialeaf fractions on serum electrolytes and   other renal function indices in alloxan induced diabetic albino rats.

EFFECT OF MOMORDICA CHARANTIA LEAF FRACTIONS ON SERUM ELECTROLYTES AND RENAL FUNCTION INDICES IN ALLOXAN-INDUCED DIABETIC ALBINO RATS