Evaluation of the toxicity and hypoglycemic effect of the aqueous extracts of Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic degenerative diseases, and it is estimated to increase worldwide to around 415 million and to impact 642 million in 2040. Research shows that some plants are sources of bioactive compounds against diabetes. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the oral toxicity and the hypoglycemic effect of the aqueous extract of the leaves of Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl. Diabetes was induced in Swiss mice with streptozotocin and the mice were treated with an aqueous extract of C. quercifolius leaves for a period of 30 days. Phytochemical analysis showed that the extract was rich in flavonoids, catechins and triterpenoid, which did not show any mortality and behavioral alterations in mice treated with 200, 1000, and 2000 mg/kg body weight of the extract for 14 days. Histopathological analysis of organs (kidney, pancreas, liver) from mice treated with the 2000 mg/kg extract revealed no architectural change. In the present study, we found a 29% reduction in glucose levels in animals receiving 200 mg/kg body weight. These results are very promising because they showed that C. quercifolius had a hypoglycemic effect and did not present oral toxicity, thus being a new source of compounds for the control of diabetes.