From ancient times, Dǎngshēn (Codonopsis javanica) has been used in Chinese traditional medicine. In this study we investigated the anti-hyperinsulinemia and antioxidant properties of C. javanica root extracts in a rat model of insulin resistance (IR), induced by chronic fructose feeding. Twenty-four Sprague–Dawley rats were randomized into control, fructose-treated (10%, w/v), and fructose then C. javanica (Fru + Cod)-treated groups. After 8 weeks fructose feeding, increased fasting serum insulin levels (2.6 ± 0.45 μg/L) and insulin area under the curve confirmed the IR (p < 0.001). However, C. javanica treatment to fructose-fed rats significantly attenuated the hyperinsulinemia with correspondingly improved glucose tolerance. Weight gain in Fru + Cod group was comparably (p < 0.01) lower than in the fructose-fed group. Furthermore, IR-induced increased hepatic lipid peroxidation, as demonstrated by elevated malondialdehyde levels, were significantly (p < 0.001) alleviated by C. javanica treatment. These findings reveal that chronic fructose intake may facilitate IR and oxidative damage, which could be eradicated by improved antioxidant status. Accordingly, we found that C. javanica treatment significantly improved the antioxidant enzyme activities, including superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase in the liver. These findings that fructose-induced hyperinsulinemia and associated oxidative stress could be attenuated by C. javanica root extracts. © 2013

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.