Hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress plays a major role in the development of diabetic complications. Averrhoa bilimbi Linn. (Oxalidaceae) is a medicinal plant with fruits reported to possess antidiabetic activity. This study evaluated the beneficial effects of the ethyl acetate fraction of A. bilimbi fruit (ABAEE) on the antioxidant/oxidant status in diabetes mellitus. Diabetic rats were treated orally with the ethyl acetate fraction of A. bilimbi fruits at a dose of 25 mg/kg body weight for 60 days. Serum glucose, glycated hemoglobin, plasma insulin, hepatic toxicity markers, antioxidant enzymes, lipid peroxidation products, and liver histopathology were assayed checked after 60 days of extract treatment. Diabetic rats administered ABAEE showed a significant decline in serum glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and also significantly increases the level of plasma insulin, as well as a notable attenuation in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, conjugated dienes, and hydroperoxides. ABAEE also modulated hepatic antioxidant potential by significantly increasing the activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, and reducing glutathione content. The results associated with ABAEE were more significant than those observed following treatment with the standard drug metformin. Histopathological observations showed that ABAEE effectively rescued hepatocytes from oxidative damage without affecting cellular function and structural integrity. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of ABAEE indicated the presence of phenolic compound, quercetin, indicating that the antidiabetic effect of the extract might be related to quercetin. These results demonstrated the potential beneficial effect of ABAEE on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. © 2016

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