Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders 2011. 10( ):3-.

Citral as a potential antihyperlipidemic medicine in diabetes: a study on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats
Najafian M, Ebrahim-Habibi A, Yaghmaei P, Parivar K, Larijani B


Background: As potential anti-diabetic and anti-obesity agents, glycosidase inhibitors are the subject of numerous studies. Among these enzymes, alpha-amylases are of particular interest, and most of their reported inhibitors have so far been natural compounds. Citral is an isoprenoid compound of various essential oils, and based on its alpha-amylase inhibitory effect, was further studied here in an in vivo model of type 1 diabetes.
Methods: In vitro effect of the compound was assessed on mammalian alpha-amylase activity with the use of the Bernfeld method. In vivo effect of the compound was studied on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (wistar). Non-diabetic and diabetic rats received citral at 2, 8, 16 or 32 mg/kg body weight; the compound was dissolved in grape seed oil. The control groups received grape seed oil alone. Treatment was done for 24 days, after what the animals were sacrificed under light ether anesthesia. Measured parameters included: food and water ingestion and urine volume (daily), blood glucose levels (every two days), cholesterol, triacylglycerol, concentrations, and alpha-amylase levels after 24 days.
Results: Citral was found to be a moderate inhibitor of mammalian alpha-amylase, with an IC50 of 120 μM, and caused also a decrease of alpha-amylase levels in vivo. Moderate lowering of postprandial glucose, alongside with normalization of blood lipid profile was observed in diabetic rats upon treatment with the compound. Citral was also found to be able to promote weight loss and to decrease food intake.
Conclusion: Citral could be proposed as a possible antihyperlipidemic agent in diabetes and potential therapeutic in obesity, although further studies are needed to establish its complete profile as potential medication.


Citral; 3, 7-dimethylocta-2,6-dienal, alpha-amylase, inhibitor, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia,

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