Ashanti pepper (Piper guineense Schumach et Thonn) seed is well known in folkloric medicine in the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with little or no scientific documentation for its action. This study investigated the effect of Ashanti pepper seed on some enzymes relevant to carbohydrate hydrolysis, blood regulation and the cholinergic system, as well as the blood glucose level, lipid profile, antioxidant parameters, and hepatic and renal function markers in T2DM rats.
T2DM was induced by feeding rats with high-fat diet (HFD) for 14 days followed by a single intraperitoneal dose of 35 mg/kg body weight of streptozotocin (STZ). Three days after STZ induction, diabetic rats were placed on a dietary regimen containing 2%–4% Ashanti pepper.
Reduced blood glucose level with decreased α-amylase, α-glucosidase and angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) activities were observed in Ashanti pepper seed and acarbose-treated rat groups when compared to that of the diabetic control rat group. Furthermore, the results revealed that inclusion of 2%–4% Ashanti pepper seed in diabetic rat fed group diets may ameliorate the lipid profile, antioxidant status, and hepatic and renal function in T2DM rats as much as in the acarbose-treated groups. In addition, a chromatographic profile of the seed revealed the presence of quercitrin (116.51 mg/g), capsaicin (113.94 mg/g), dihydrocapsaicin (88.29 mg/g) and isoquercitrin (74.89 mg/g).
The results from this study clearly suggest that Ashanti pepper could serve as a promising source of phenolic compounds with great alternative therapeutic potentials in the management of T2DM.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: This study was funded by the Education Trust Fund Academic Staff Training and Development (AST & D) Intervention (Ref: FUTA/VCPU/ETF/155).
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.
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