Evaluation of antidiabetic, antioxidant effect and safety profile of gomutra ark in Wistar albino ra

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Abstract


The effect of Gomutra ark (GoA) on experimental alloxan-induced diabetes in rats was studied. For this purpose, Wistar albino rats of either sex weighing 200-250 g were used. The biochemical parameters like blood sugar, vitamin C, and malondialdehyde release were measured. The safety profile of GoA was evaluated using acute and chronic toxicity studies. GoA significantly lowers blood glucose in diabetic rats although the observed effect was found to be less than glibenclamide. It significantly lowers the level of malondialdehyde and vitamin C in diabetic rats. No toxicity was observed even when cow urine was given 32 times of the study dose in acute toxicity and no significant changes were seen when it was used chronically, which suggests that cow urine is having a very high therapeutic index. This study supports the traditional use of GoA in diabetes and is having a high therapeutic index and is safe for chronic use. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism of action of Gomutra ark.

KEY WORDS: Alloxan, antidiabetic, antioxidant, glibenclamide, Gomutra ark


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INTRODUCTION

In Ayurveda, cow urine (Gomutra) occupies a unique place and has been recognized as water of life or “Amrita”.[1] In Sushruta Samhita, it has been described as the most effective substance of animal origin. In India, drinking of cow urine has been practiced for thousands of years.[2]

In Panchagavya Ghrita, it is one of the important ingredients. Panchgavya, a term used to describe a formulation constituted with five major substances like urine, milk, ghee, curd, and dung obtained from cow. All the five products possess medicinal properties and are used singly or in combination with some other herbs against many diseases.[3] This unique kind of the treatment called as Cowpathy or Panchgavya pathy and it has been reported to be beneficial even for deadly diseases like diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.[1,4]

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia, glycosuria, hyperlipidaemia, negative nitrogen balance, and sometimes ketonemia.[5] The widespread pathological changes leads to complications like retinopathy, microangiopathy, and nephropathy.[6] Most of the oral hypoglycemic agents, currently in use, produce serious side effects like hypoglycemic coma and hepatorenal disturbances. Also safety of most of the presently used drugs is not established during pregnancy.[7] Hence, there is an urgent need for the search of safer and more effective hypoglycemic agents.

Cow urine has been granted US Patents (No. 6,896,907 and 6,410,059) for its medicinal properties, particularly as a bioenhancer and as an antibiotic, antifungal, and anticancer agent. With regard to the latter, it has been observed to increase the potency of “Taxol” (paclitaxel) against MCF-7, a human breast cancer cell line, in in vitro assays (US Patent No. 6,410,059).[8]

There are so many claims regarding the use of cow urine. Out of these the most important claim is regarding its antidiabetic and antioxidant activity, but only few scientific literatures are available to support this claim.[9]

Hence, the present study was designed to validate the antidiabetic as well as the antioxidant effect of Gomutra ark (GoA) scientifically and also to know if it has any acute and chronic adverse effects and cause any biochemical change in urine parameters.

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