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INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study


The main goal of todays Science is to come up with a cheap and quality medicine for the
society. It is, in this generation that different kinds of diseases are popping up with an
unidentifiable solution. In coming up with a single treatment for a single disease, much money
had been spent when common herbal medicine became approved and disseminated in the market,
the price justifies the worth of how it was processed.
The world is now facing a crisis. People is in need of inexpensive commodities
particularly and most importantly, medicines. Most researchers are concentrated on investigating
the components of the different plant species that are readily found in the locality to treat
diseases.
Diabetes is rising globally and one area that is seeing an increase is in the Philippines.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the Philippines, constituting 4.39% of the total
deaths in the Philippines every year. The Bohol Standard reported in November, 2008 that one
out of every five Filipinos living in the Philippines had diabetes. A survey conducted by the
Philippine Cardiovascular Outcome Study on Diabetes Mellitus in 2007 found that, 20.6% of
adults aged 30 and above were found to be diabetic. In 1998 only 3.9 percent of Filipinos living
in the Philippines had diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes mellitus is the most common type of diabetes in
the Philippines, which is characterized to be insulin resistant, which may be combined with
relatively reduced insulin secretion.

Dietary factors play a key role in the development of various human diseases, including
diabetes (Banerjee and Maulik, 2002). Medicinal plants continue to provide valuable therapeutic
agents, in both modern medicine and in traditional system. The doubts about the efficacy and
safety of the oral hypoglycemic agents have prompted a search for safer and more effective drugs
in the treatment of diabetes (Reaven et al., 1983). In spite of the fact that insulin has become one
of the most important therapeutic agents known to medicine, researchers have been making
efforts to find insulin substitutes from synthetic or plant sources for the treatment of diabetes
(Sanchez et al., 1994).
The current shift to the use of herbal preparations may therefore be due to presumed
effectiveness, relatively low cost, presumed less side effects and low toxicity even though the
biologically active constituents may be often unknown (Osinubi et al., 2006).
Little scientific evidence exists to support the numerous herbs used to improve diabetes
related metabolic disorder (Lo et al, 2004). The use of herbal products for medicinal benefits has
played an important role in nearly every culture on earth and for many years, the search for antidiabetic products will continue to focus on plants and other natural resources (Osinubi et al.,
2006).
The cost of administrating modern antidiabetic drugs is beyond the reach of most people
in the low income group and those living in the rural areas, hence the use of plants for the
treatment of common diseases such as diabetes are very common. Herbal medicine therefore can
solve the economic problem of the poor. Investigators have consistently found that several plant
products showed unique hypoglycaemic activities in diabetic animal model (Kusano et al, 2000).

Considering the economic resources and cheapness of these herbal products, this study
was designed to determine the effect of Dragon Fruit on the blood glucose level of Alloxan induced diabetic Mus musculus for possible use of the most effective hypoglycaemic dosage in
the control of hyperglycaemia characteristic of diabetes mellitus. There is therefore no doubt that
antidiabetic medicinal plant might provide an important source of new oral hypoglycaemic
compounds for development as pharmaceutical entities or as simple dietary adjuncts to existing
therapies. Compounds that stimulate insulin biosynthesis and secretion or promote peripheral
glucose uptake and utilization in herbal products have high potentials in diabetes management
(Eyo et al, 2011).
Research Paradigm

Figure 1. Research Paradigm


Objective of the Study
General:
To determine the hypoglycemic effect of dragon fruit (Hylocereusundatus) extract on
diabetes- induced mice (Musmusculus).
Specific:

To compare the hypoglycemic effect of the dragon fruit (Hylocereusundatus) extract with
the commercial hypoglycemic drug Metformin.
Significance of the Study
Dragon fruit is a native fruit in Southeast Asia specifically in the Philippines. Since it is
abundant in Luzon especially in the Ilocos Region and our own province Cagayan, we would like
to study the benefits of the fruit.
Only few studies on the hypoglycemic effect of Dragon fruit have been conducted over
the past few years. And since it is available in our locality, we would like to expound on it and to
come up with new alternative oral hypoglycemic drug from the dragon fruit thereby promoting
quality and herbal remedy for Filipinos.
Scope and Delimitations
The focus of this study is to determine the hypoglycemic effect of dragon fruit extract on
diabetes induced mice and to compare the hypoglycemic effect of the dragon fruit extract to the
commercial hypoglycemic drug. The dragon fruits will be bought from a dragon fruit farm here
in Pamplona, Cagayan and the mice will be bought from a mouse farm in Quezon City. Twelve
mice will be subjected to four treatments, three mice per treatment.
The decrease in the blood sugar level of the mice will determine if the dragon fruit extract
has hypoglycemic effect. A glucometer will be used to check the blood sugar level of the mice.
Only male mice will be used.
Review of Related Literature

According to the World Health Organization, the term diabetes mellitus describes a
metabolic disorder of multiple aetiology characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia (high blood
sugar) with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism resulting from defects in
insulin secretion, insulin action or both .The effects of diabetes mellitus includes long-term
damage, dysfunction and failure of various organs. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can become
severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care, such as diabetic coma. In the
long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not severe can lead to complications affecting your
eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.
Diabetes mellitus is probably the fastest growing metabolic disease in the world and as
knowledge of the multifactorial/heterogeneous nature of the disease increases so does the need
for more challenging and appropriate therapies (Ugochukwu et al, 2003). Traditional plant
remedies have been used for centuries in the treatment of diabetes (Akhtar et al, 1984), but only
a few have been scientifically evaluated.
Alloxan is known for its selective pancreatic islet cell cytotoxicity and has been
extensively used to induce diabetes mellitus in animals (Zarrow et al, 1964; Nafisa et al, 2007).
Generalised increase in the level of blood glucose during diabetes have been consistently
reported both in animal models (Mathew et al, 1975; Hamme et al, 1991; Sharpe et al, 1998;
Tukuncu et al, 1998) and humans especially those suffering from insulin- dependent diabetes
mellitus (Bell et al, 1984).
According to the World Health Organization, Diabetes Mellitus is recognized by chronic
elevation of the concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). The high concentration

of blood glucose and other biochemical abnormalities result from deficient production or action
of insulin, a hormone that controls glucose, fat and amino acid metabolism.
Dragon fruit or pitaya is one of the tropical fruits under the cactus family Cactaceae.
Generally there are two species of dragon fruit. However, red dragon fruit (Hylocereusundatus)
is more commonly known in the Philippine market. It is characterized by red flesh scattered with
small black seeds, which are edible (Nurliyana, et al.).
Dragon fruit have been seen to have hypoglycemic potential. Dragon fruit, like many
other tropical fruits and vegetables, are proven to be rich in antioxidants but information
specifically on its hypoglycemic properties are still lacking. Nonetheless, from our reviews, very
few anti-oxidant studies on Hylocereus species have been conducted (Lim et al., 2006;
Mahattanatawee et al., 2006; Lim et al., 2007).
A study made by Swarup et al. proved that administration of dragon fruit extract in
streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, can increase the oxidative defense and could protect aorta
from hyperglycemic damage.
Mayas traditionally used the leaves and flowers of H. undatus as a hypoglycemic,
diuretic and cicatrizing agent (Argueta, et al.). It is rich in antioxidants which are known to
prevent diabetes and cancer, neutralize toxic substances such as heavy metals and reduce
cholesterol and high blood pressure (Gunasena, et al.)Perez et al.studied the wound-healing
property, and Wu et al. reported the antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties of H.undatus.
Consequently, this study accounts to provide more information on the hypoglycemic
property of Dragon fruit. Albino mouse will then be used as experimental subjects and increase
in blood glucose level will be observed on induction of diabetes mellitus in the mouse models.

The Albino mouse is a laboratory strain of the House mouse (Musmusculus) also with
worldwide distribution. It is commonly used in laboratory tests and experimentations. It is
characterized with small fluffy ears and white color. Generally, laboratory strains are inbred, so
as to make them genetically almost identical; making Albino mouse appropriate for this study.
Metformin is a common drug used in the Philippines to treat diabetic patients. It is an oral
diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. It is commonly used for people with type
2 diabetes. Metformin was derived from the flowering plant Galya officinalis (Goats Rue or
French lilac) which was a common traditional remedy for diabetes (Eyo et al, 2011).