Background: The goal of this study was to examine the effect of Virgin Argan Oil (VAO) obtained from the fruit of Argania spinosa in a model of type 2 diabetes and hypertensive rats. Neonatal diabetes was induced by a single i.p. injection of streptozotocin (90 mg/kg) 2 days after birth. To induce NO-deficient hypertension, the adult diabetic animals were treated with l-nitroarginine methylester (l-NAME) (30 mg/kg/day) given orally for 21 days.
Methods: Following treatment with VAO (21 days), the hyperglycemia decreased to 1.3 ± 0.07 g/l compared with 1.92 ± 0.09 g/l (p < 0.01) in the untreated diabetic-hypertensive rats. The simultaneous administration of VAO with l-NAME prevented the increase in blood pressure during the 3 weeks of treatment. Blood pressure remained constant at 131 ± 1 mm Hg after 21 days – vs 157 ± 0.64 mm Hg in untreated animals (p < 0.001).
Results: The treatment with VAO to diabetic-hypertensive rats caused a significant increase of hepatic glycogen levels (13.3 ± 1.8 vs 6.34 ± 0.75 mg/g tissue in untreated diabetic-hypertensive control group; p < 0.01).
Conclusions: In conclusion, the overall findings indicate that VAO possesses antidiabetic and antihypertensive activity in n-stz/l-NAME rats. This effect may be related to its high content of tocopherols, phenolic compounds, and unsaturated fatty acids.
The authors are thankful to Badraoui Mustapha and Ramdaoui Karim for technical help and animal breeding. This work was supported by grants from CNRST, Morocco [Project URAC-40] and from Belgium [Program 3, CUD Project].
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