In the present study, the hypoglycaemic potentials of ginger (Zingiber officinale) were studied in rats. An aqueous extract of raw ginger was administered daily (500 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) for a period of 7 weeks to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Fasting blood serum was analysed for blood glucose, cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels. The STZ-injected rats exhibited hyperglycaemia accompanied with weight loss, indicating their diabetic condition. At a dose of 500 mg/kg, raw ginger was significantly effective in lowering serum glucose, cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels in the ginger-treated diabetic rats compared with the control diabetic rats. The ginger treatment also resulted in a significant reduction in urine protein levels. In addition, the ginger-treated diabetic rats sustained their initial weights during the treatment period. Moreover, ginger decreased both water intake and urine output in the STZ-induced diabetic rats. The present results indicate that raw ginger possesses hypoglycaemic, hypocholesterolaemic and hypolipidaemic potential. Additionally, raw ginger is effective in reversing the diabetic proteinuria observed in the diabetic rats. Thus, ginger may be of great value in managing the effects of diabetic complications in human subjects.
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