The hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Lycium barbarum fruit water decoction, crude polysaccharide extracts (crude LBP), and purified polysaccharide fractions (LBP-X) in alloxan-induced diabetic or hyperlipidemic rabbits were investigated through designed sequential trials and by measuring blood glucose and serum lipid parameters. Total antioxidant capacity was also assessed using trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. It was found that the three Lycium barbarum fruit extracts/fractions could significantly reduce blood glucose levels and serum total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) concentrations and at same time markedly increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) levels after 10 days treatment in tested rabbits, indicating that there were substantial hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. Hypoglycemic effect of LBP-X was more significant than those of water decoction and crude LBP, but its hypolipidemic effect seemed to be weaker. Total antioxidant capacity assay showed that all three Lycium barbarum extracts/fractions possessed antioxidant activity. However, water and methanolc fruit extracts and crude polysaccharide extracts exhibited stronger antioxidant activity than purified polysaccharide fractions because crude extracts were identified to be rich in antioxidants (e.g., carotenoids, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, thiamine, nicotinic acid). Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (glycocojugates), containing several monosaccharides and 17 amino acids, were major bioactive constituents of hypoglycemic effect. Both polysaccharides and vitamin antioxidants from Lycium barbarum fruits were possible active principles of hypolipidemic effect.
- Antioxidant activity
- Lycium barbarum
- Traditional Chinese medicinal herbs