Coccinia indica leaves were extracted with 60% ethanol, solvents were evaporated and the residue was suspended in water. This suspension was administered orally at a dose of 200 mg/kg body wt. after 18 h of fasting to normal fed and streptozotocin-induced male diabetic rats (180-250 g). After 90 min the rats were killed, and blood-glucose, hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and red-cell G6PDH were assayed. Blood sugar was depressed by 23% (P < 0.01) and 27% (P < 0.001) in the normal fed and streptozotocin-diabetic rats respectively compared with controls which were given distilled water. Hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase activities were depressed by 32% (P < 0.001) 30% (P < 0.05) respectively in the streptozotocin-diabetic rats, compared with 19% (P < 0.02) and 20% (P < 0.01) depression in the normal fed controls, whereas both the red-cell and hepatic G6PDH activities were found to be elevated by feeding the extract in the streptozotocin-diabetic and in the normal fed controls. Similar results were obtained with the 95%-ethanolic extract of Momordica charantia. Taken together, these results indicate that Coccinia indica and Momordica charantia extracts lowered blood glucose by depressing its synthesis, on the one hand through depression of the key gluconeogenic enzymes glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and on the other by enhancing glucose oxidation by the shunt pathway through activation of its principal enzyme G6PDH.

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