The study of edible plants, especially in developing countries, might provide more affordable means for the management of diabetes. Telfairia occidentalis is one of the plants whose leaves are commonly consumed in Cameroon. This work hereby studied the antiamylasic potential of its aqueous leaves extract and the effect of its dietary supplementation on fasting blood glucose in Wistar rats. An aqueous extract (1:6) was prepared from shed-dried T. occidentalis leaves by maceration. Its antiamylase activity was evaluated in vitro and a phytochemical screening was realized. Its acute toxicity and its effect on an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were evaluated in rats. The effect of T. occidentalis leaves dietary supplementation (10%) on fasting blood glucose was studied for 28 days in rats fed with carbohydrate enriched diet, using Glibenclamide (0.3 mg/kg body weight) as reference hypoglycemic drug. Results showed that there was total inhibition of α-amylase activity in vitro by T. occidentalis aqueous leaves extract at 0.075 mg/ml. The presence of tannins, flavonoids and anthocyanins was revealed by the phytochemical screening. No sign of toxicity was observed in rats after an oral administration of the extract at 2000 mg/kg body weight. The extract significantly hindered a rise in blood glucose at 400 mg/kg body weight during an oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary supplementation with T. occidentalis leaves caused a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in fasting blood glucose as compared to the positive control. Telfairia occidentalis leaves and their aqueous extract could be used in the management of hyperglycemia and diabetes.
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