We carried out three experimental trials to determine antidiabetic effects of Aloe arborescens Miller components. Firstly, ICR mice which received frequent injections of streptozotocin (Sz) in small doses (low-dose Sz-induced diabetes mice) were fed ad libitum with basal diets supplemented with components of Aloe arborescens Miller var. natalensis Berger (Kidachi aloe) and Aloe vera Linne from 31 days before to 73 days after the Sz injections. Variation in blood glucose levels, incidence rates of insulitis and blood insulin levels were examined during the trial. As a result, groups receiving diets supplemented at the rate of 2% with whole leaf of Kidachi aloe and 10 KDa fraction powder (a fraction with less than 10 KDa molecular weight derived from Kidachi aloe leaf skin juice by ultra filtration) significantly suppressed the elevation of blood sugar as compared to a control group receiving basal diet. In contrast, there was no significant effect with Aloe vera leaf pulp powder. Insulitis emerged at the rate of 87% in the basal diet group. On the contrary, the whole aloe leaf and 10 KDa fraction groups significantly decreased the incidence of insulitis and incidence rates of whole aloe leaf and 10 KDa fraction powder were 51 and 38%, respectively. While insulin levels in the basal diet group averaged at 0.05 ng, more than four times the insulin level was observed in the 10 KDa group relative to the basal diet group. Secondary, the inhibitory effects of test materials on intestinal glucose absorption were observed using the jejunum of rats. A strong inhibitory action on intestinal glucose absorption was observed in the 10 KDa fraction powder group. Thirdly, phenol compounds derived from aloe in the blood serum and organs were quantitatively measured by a HPLC following forced administration of aloe components to rats to determine absorption kinetics of aloe components inside the body. The primary component of aloe phenol compounds is the same component of the 10 KDa fraction powder and it was found in the pancreas and liver in addition to in the blood serum. The above results indicate that fore and aft when Sz injections could cause selective toxicity to B cells of islets, the dietary administration of 10 KDa fraction powder to mice would lead to the persistence of aloe phenol compound having an antioxidant activity in the pancreas and blood, which could protect islets of Langerhans from the destruction caused by methyl radical derived from Sz. The results also suggested the possibility of the 10 KDa fraction powder to alleviate the burden of insulin secretion as it has an inhibitory action on glucose absorption in the jejunum of rats.
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