Many minor components of foods, such as secondary plant metabolites, have been shown to posses antioxidant activities, improving the effects of oxidative stress on diabetes and other disease conditions. This study evaluates the effect of aqueous extracts from Vernonia amygdalina
leaves on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. The results showed that the streptozotocin induced diabetic rats were subjected to oxidative stress as was shown by the extent of lipid peroxidation (high malondialdehyde levels) present in the plasma. The aqueous extract of V. amygdalina
leaves possessed antioxidant activity as shown by decreases in malondialdehyde levels. High values of LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides levels, which are typical of the diabetic condition, were also found in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. The aqueous extract also significantly reduced triglyceride levels and normalized cholesterol concentrations. This shows that the aqueous extract of V. amygdalina
leaves have both hypolipidaemic and antioxidant properties.