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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017, Article ID 3592491, 11 pages
Research Article

Alpha-Amylase Inhibition and Antioxidative Capacity of Some Antidiabetic Plants Used by the Traditional Healers in Southeastern Nigeria

1Department of Nature Conservation and Ethnobotany, Mangosuthu University of Technology P.O. Box 12363, Jacobs, Durban 4026, South Africa
2Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria
3Department of Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria
4GI Microbiology and Biotechnology Unit, Agricultural Research Council, Animal Production Institute, Irene, Pretoria 0062, South Africa

Correspondence should be addressed to Sunday O. Oyedemi; moc.liamg@imedsunavlis

Received 27 October 2016; Accepted 6 February 2017; Published 6 March 2017

Academic Editor: Paula B. Andrade

Copyright © 2017 Sunday O. Oyedemi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome including diabetes mellitus (DM). The inhibition of alpha-amylase is an important therapeutic target in the regulation of postprandial increase of blood glucose in diabetic patients. The present study investigated the alpha-amylase inhibitory and antioxidant potential of selected herbal drugs used in the treatment of DM by the traditional healers in Isiala Mbano and Ikwuano regions of southeastern Nigeria. Antioxidant activity was evaluated in terms of free radical scavenging, reducing power, and total phenolic (TPC) and flavonoid content (TFC) in consonance with the TLC profiling. The results showed that methanol crude extracts from Anacardium occidentale (AO) and Ceiba pentandra (CP) recorded higher TPC and TFC, potent free radical scavenging, and efficient reducing power (RP) as compared with other plant samples. All the plant extracts exhibited a relative alpha-amylase inhibition apart from Strophanthus hispidus (SH) extract with a negative effect. We discovered a mild to weak correlation between alpha-amylase inhibition or antioxidative capacity and the total phenol or flavonoid content. At least in part, the results obtained in this work support the traditional use of certain plant species in the treatment of patients with DM.