To evaluate and compare the antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of fruit pulp extracts from Cucurbita moschata (PCMOS) and Cucurbita maxima (PCMAX).
The antidiabetic activity was carried out in vivo by orally and daily giving the extracts at a dose of 500 mg/kg·b.w. to the streptozotocin-induced diabetic male albino Wistar rats for six weeks. After the period of administration, blood glucose levels, body weight, serum insulin, morphology of islets of Langerhans, biochemical parameters, and haematological values of the rats were determined. Meanwhile, the antioxidant activity was carried out in vitro by determination of total phenolic and flavonoid contents, DPPH radical scavenging activity, and ferric reducing antioxidant power.
PCMAX significantly ( p < 0.05) reduced blood glucose levels but increased the body weight, serum insulin levels, size and number of islets of Langerhans, and β-cell number of the treated diabetic rats more than PCMOS did. However, they did not alter biochemical parameters and haematological values of the treated diabetic rats. PCMAX possessed total phenolic and flavonoid contents and showed DPPH scavenging and FRAP reducing antioxidant power more significantly ( p < 0.05) than PCMOS.
According to the obtained results, it is indicated that PCMOS and PCMAX possess antidiabetic and antioxidant activities. PCMAX possesses more potent antidiabetic and antioxidant activities than PCMOS. These are probably due to PCMAX providing polysaccharide and total phenolic and flavonoid contents more than PCMOS.