Ethnopharmacology of two plants used in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in Yucatan, Mexico
Diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMT2) is defined as an elevated blood glucose level associated with an absent or inadequate pancreatic insulin secretion. This may be expressed with or without concurrent impairment of insulin action. DMT2 is one of the most prevalent health problems in Mexico, and common treatment options include a wide variety of both medicinal products and health food plants.
We developed a mathematical tool for analysing ethnopharmacological field data, Disease Consensus Index, with the ultimate aim to select species with the most prominent impact in a community to treat a single disease, as a result of the application of this tool Malmea depressa R. E. Fries, (Annonaceae) (MD), and Cecropia peltata L. (CP) were selected as the prominent species traditionally used in the Mayan communities of south-eastern Mexico to treat the disease.
The acute hypoglycemic effect of both plants was confirmed, thereafter was determined whether CP or MD would reduce hepatic glucose production by targeting gluconeogenesis. The effects of the plants extracts on gluconeogenesis (in vivo) and the activity of Glucose-6-Phosphatase (in vitro) were examined. Furthermore, the phytochemical composition of the plants was analysed.
The results suggest that administration of the plants can improve glycemic control by blocking hepatic glucose production, especially in the fasting state. These data support its traditional use as an infusion consumed continually throughout the day.