Diodia sarmentosa is a native straggling herb found in Nigeria, especially in evergreen forest, bushland, and riverine areas. In folklore medicine, it has been used to treat ailments like diabetes, ulcers, etc. This study investigated the ameliorative effects of ethanolic leaf extract of Diodia sarmentosa on high-fat diet-induced cardiac tissue injury in male albino Wistar rats.
Thirty (30) male Wistar rats (150g-200g) were divided into five (5) groups namely; Negative control (NC) group which was not induced nor treated, Positive control (PC) was induced but not treated, Low dose extract (LDE) was treated with 250mg/kg of the extract, High dose extract (HDE) was treated with 500mg/kg of the extract and SIM group treated with 5mg/kg of Simvastatin. Cardiac tissue injury was induced by feeding the rats with high-fat diet (Ghee and Coconut oil in the ratio of 3:1) for six (6) weeks. The administration of the treatments (extract and drug) at the appropriate doses started from the 4th week till the 6th week. Parameters like Total protein concentration, Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, Malondialdehyde level, Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, Catalase (CAT) activity, Glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity, and Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity were carried out in the cardiac tissue of the test rats to determine the ameliorative effects of Diodia sarmentosa.
Results obtained showed that high-fat diet reduced antioxidant enzymes, protein levels, and caused lipid peroxidation indicating injury in the cardiac tissue of the test rats. However, the extract at high dose significantly reduced (p < 0.05) lipid peroxidation and high GST activity in the cardiac tissue caused by high-fat diet. Protein levels and antioxidant enzyme activities in SOD, CAT, GPx, and LDH were all significantly increased (p < 0.05), when compared to the positive group. The extract at high dose possesses similar efficacy to the standard drug simvastatin used to compare the efficacy of the extract.
Thee evidence from this study shows Diodia sarmentosa has the potential to improve and reverse the injury in the cardiac tissue caused by high-fat diet administration in the test rats, by reducing lipid peroxidation, and increasing antioxidant enzymes and total protein concentration. This makes the plant a potential new natural product for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.