The effects of aqueous extract of Telfairia Occidentalis
) on plasma glucose, lactate dehydrogenase activity (LDH), insulin and cortisol levels in rats were investigated. Thirty male Wistar rats (200−250g) were randomly divided into 5 groups (n=6/group). Rats in the control group received 0.2 ml of normal saline while rats in other groups were orally treated with 100 or 200 mg/Kg of the extract for either 1 or 2 weeks. The results showed that there were significant increases in insulin and cortisol levels, decrease in glucose, and an insignificant increase in LDH activity in rats treated with 100 and 200 mg/Kg of the extract for 1 week. However, after 2 weeks of treatment with the same doses, there was no significant change in plasma insulin in the treated rats when compared with the control. In contrast, there was a significant decrease in plasma insulin levels when compared with what was obtained after one week of treatment. The reduction in plasma insulin was accompanied by increases in plasma glucose towards normal and significant increases in plasma cortisol and LDH activity. The results suggest that the blood glucose-lowering effect of Telfairia Occidentalis
might be mediated at least in part by insulin. This effect elicited counterregulatory responses that included an increase in plasma cortisol and lactate dehydrogenase activity to probably stimulate cortisol-induced gluconeogenesis and favor lactate oxidation.