Diabetes is a major public health problem worldwide and associated with serious side effects. Given the role of medicinal plant in controlling diabetes, this study aimed to compare the effects of silymarin with metformin on serum glucose, insulin, insulin resistance ( HOMA.IR), pancreatic function (HOMA.B) and pancreatic tissue in diabetic rats. In this experimental study, frothy male Wistar rats weighing 180-240 g were randomly divided into 5 equal groups as follows: the healthy control (HC), the diabetic control (DC), the silymarin100 (S100), the silymarin 200 (S200) and the metformin 100 (M100). Groups DC, S100, S200 and M100 were injected with intraperitoneally of streptozotocin. Groups S100, S200 and M100 received 100 mg/ kg of silymarin, 200 mg/ kg of silymarin and 100 mg / kg of metformin respectively. After 30 days of intervention, serum concentrations of glucose and insulin were determined by enzymatic and ELISA method respectively. Also the pancreatic tissue was studied by light microscopy. Serums concentrations of glucose, insulin and HOMA.IR significantly decreased, whereas HOMA.B increased in the S100, S200 and M100 groups compared to the DC group. Glucose and insulin levels significantly decreased in the M100 group compared to the S100 and S200 groups (p <0.05). Histological analysis demonstrated restoration effects of metformin and silymarin on pancreatic tissue. It seems that efficacy of metformin on diabetes is better than silymarin, however, more researches are needed to survey the effects of different timing (longer) and different concentrations of silymarin on diabetes.
Key words: Diabetes, Silymarin, Metformin, Insulin resistance
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