Isolation and hypoglycemic effects of water extracts from mulberry leaves in Northeast China†
Diabetes is the main chronic disease that greatly affects human life. Up to now, many measures have been taken to cope with the disease, among which natural products with hypoglycemic effects have aroused great interest. The objective of this study was to evaluate the hypoglycemic effects of Morus abla L. cv. longsang 1 leaf-derived water extract in vitro and in vivo. These leaves were firstly subjected to water extraction, and the obtained products were further isolated for polysaccharides, flavonoids and alkaloids. The α-glucosidase activity and anti-protein glycosylation activity of the aqueous extracts were examined in vitro. Hyperglycemic mouse models were used to evaluate the hypoglycemic effects of the aqueous extract by blood biochemical parameters, intestinal microbiota, and pathological changes to the kidneys. The results showed that the main hypoglycemic components in the aqueous extracts were flavonoids and alkaloids and their inhibition rates against α-glucosidase activity were 86.12 ± 1.79% and 87.29 ± 1.32%, respectively. High-dose mulberry leaf water extracts can reduce the blood glucose of diabetic mice by 28.17% and improve glucose tolerance by 19.02%. Furthermore, mulberry leaf water extracts could reduce the serum free fatty acid (FFA), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), insulin and glycated serum protein content, while alleviating kidney damage and improving intestinal microbiota. These results indicated that the synergistic effects among the different components of mulberry leaves might explain their alleviating effects on diabetic syndrome and thus provide a simple, convenient way to obtain the hypoglycemic components from mulberry leaves.