Hyperlipidaemia is a usual and life threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. Consequently, a good anti-diabetic agent should reduce the progression of this complication. In view of this, the anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-atherogenic activities of aqueous extract of Lasianthera africana was studied in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Extract treatment was administered at a dose of 1ml of 180 mg/ml of extract per kg body weight once daily for three weeks (21 days). Blood samples were collected thereafter by cardiac puncture for the analysis of lipid profile after the rats were exposed to chloroform vapour for 5 min. Results show that extract treatment caused significant (p<0.05) reduction in all lipid parameters analyzed when compared to the diabetic control. The reduction in total cholesterol was more for low density lipoprotein (LDL) (90%) than high density lipoprotein (HDL) (69%) by extract treatment when compared to the diabetic control by 94 and 75 percent respectively. The extract also caused significant (p < 0.05) reduction in cardiac risk ratio (CRR), atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) and the atherogenic coefficient respectively. The result therefore shows that the aqueous extract of L. africana possess anti-hyperlipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic activities, a justification for its use by ethno-botanist in the treatment of diabetic complications.
Key words: Anti-hyperlipidaemia, anti-atherosclerotic, atherogenic coefficient, cardiac risk ratio, atherogenic index of plasma, Lasianthera africana.
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