Effect of Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) Extract Supplementation in STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed with a High-Fat Diet


Elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) lipophilic and polar extract dietary supplementation effects were evaluated according to diabetes management indices, using an in vivo model. A research pipeline was constructed, that ranged from extract preparation, partial chemical characterization and toxicity evaluation, to examining the elderberry extract dietary supplementation effects on biofluid and tissues. Extracts toxicity was screened using an Aliivibrio fischeri bioluminescence model. A concentration of up to 60 mg/L was selected, and rat doses for oral supplementation were computed applying the interspecies correlation between A. fischeri and rats. Wistar type 2 diabetic rats, induced by streptozotocin (STZ), were fed a high-fat diet and supplemented for 4 weeks at doses of 190 and 350 mg/kg body weight/day of lipophilic and polar extract, respectively. As far as we know, lipophilic elderberry extract supplementation was assessed for the first time, while polar extract was administrated at higher doses and for a shorter period compared to previous studies, aiming to evaluate subacute supplementation effects. The polar extract modulated glucose metabolism by correcting hyperglycemia, while the lipophilic extract lowered insulin secretion. Both extracts lowered insulin resistance, without remarkable alterations to hematological indices, sera lipids and sera and tissular trace element homeostasis. In conclusion, elderberries are a potential source of bioactive compounds for formulations to be used as co-adjuvants in diabetes management.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry


Salvador, AC; Krol, E; Lemos, VC; Santos, SAO; Bento, FPMS; Costa, CP; Almeida, A; Szczepankiewicz, D; Kulczynski, B; Krejpcio, Z; Silvestre, AJD; Rocha, SM

our authors


Funding is acknowledged from the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) through the Competitive Factors Thematic Operational Program (COMPETE) and from the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal, for funding the Research Units QOPNA (Research Unit 62/94 QOPNA, under projects PEst-C/QUI/UI0062/2013 and FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-037296), and CICECO (project Pest-C/CTM/LA0011/2013, FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-037271) and CESAM (project Pest-C/MAR/LA0017/2013). RegieFrutas-Cooperativa Agricola do Tavora/Varosa for the samples supply, and Eng. Cesar Pereira, Eng. Nuno Dias, and Eng. Joao Trindade for their technical support. The authors also thank to Katarzyna Tonder, Karolina Onyszkiewicz, Molayooluwa Jebutu, Malgorzata Tubacka and Bozena Sklepik, on the support of animal hygienization and diets. Angelo C. Salvador and Sonia A. O. Santos thanks to FCT for the PhD (SFRH/BD/73778/2010) and pos-doctoral (SFRH/BPD/84226/2012) grants, respectively.

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