Nopal cactus phyto-chemical content and antidiabetic effect
Background: Hyperglycemia and oxidative stress are important factors associated with chronic diseases such type 2 diabetes mellitus so it’s a challenge for pharmaceutical industry to develop new formulations especially from natural sources to manage these problems. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the antioxidant, anti α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities of Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes and fruit juice. Methods: Four solvents differ in their polarities were used for extraction of Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes while fruit juice was only freeze dried, then qualitative phytochemical tests were applied to determine the bio active ingredients and finally each extract was in-vitro investigated to evaluate their efficacy in free radical scavenging, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Results: Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes methanol extract has the highest content in Flavonoid, phenols, alkaloids as it also has a significant antioxidant capacity with IC50 value (6.16±0.59 µg/ml) ; compared to Trolox (reference compound) which had IC50 value ( 2.09±1.7µg/ml). Acarbose was used as reference to detect α-amylase inhibition activity, it seems that aqueous extract was the most potent with IC50 value (16.98±0.77µg/ml) followed by acetone extract with IC50 value ( 25.11±0.89µg/ml) . Also all extracts showed inhibitory activity with different degrees against α-glucosidase enzyme, the aqueous extract showed the most potent activity with IC50 value (79.43±1.16g/ml) followed by acetone extract IC50 value (125.89±1.31g/ml), comparing these results to Acarbose, which presenting IC50 value (38.02±0.44μg/ml). Conclusion: From this study Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes and fruits extracts can be considered as sources of bioactive compounds for nutrition, health and disease, so further in-vivo studies should be carried out to determine their potentiality against diabetes mellitus and oxidative stress diseases.