A recent study evaluated the antioxidant, enzyme inhibitory, and antidiabetic potential of the fruit Elaeagnus umbellata, also known as Japanese silverberry or autumn olive, which is known to be highly medicinal. The study was done by researchers from the University of Malakand in Pakistan and was published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Crude extracts and subfractions of the fruit were prepared for testing using different solvents.
The antioxidant potential of the fruit was determined using a modified Brand-Willams assay, which is considered to be a valid and accurate method of evaluating free radical scavenging potential.
The researchers also used the ABTS assay to test the antioxidant activity of autumn olive.
To determine its enzyme inhibitory potential, they tested the sample on alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, two enzymes that can reduce the presence of glucose in the blood when inhibited, using different assays.
They also tested the anti-hyperglycemic effects of the sample on rats with STZ (streptozotocin)-induced Type 2 diabetes; the rats were observed for any signs of toxicity.
The phenolic compounds present in the fruit extracts were identified using HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography).
The chloroform, ethyl acetate, and butanol fractions were found to have significant antioxidant potential.
The chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions were also effective against alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase.
The crude extract, chloroform fraction, and ethyl acetate fraction effectively controlled hyperglycemia and significantly reduced glucose levels in diabetic rats.
They also showed potential in controlling secondary complications related to Type 2 diabetes by lowering the levels of enzymes which indicate liver or heart damage in the blood of diabetic rats; cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides were also reduced.
Molecular docking confirmed the inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase by phenolic compounds via binding to their active sites.
The researchers concluded that autumn olive is a potent antioxidant which can be used to treat and relieve the secondary complications of Type 2 diabetes.
Nazir, N., Zahoor, M., Nisar, M., Khan, I., Karim, N., Abdel-Halim, H., & Ali, A. PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND ANTIDIABETIC POTENTIAL OF ELAEAGNUS UMBELLATA (THUNB.) IN STREPTOZOTOCIN-INDUCED DIABETIC RATS: PHARMACOLOGICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 13 December 2018;18(1):332. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2381-8