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Larix laricina, an Antidiabetic Alternative Treatment from the Cree of Northern Quebec Pharmacopoeia, Decreases Glycemia and Improves Insulin Sensitivity In Vivo

Authors
Journal
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
1741-427X
Publisher
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
Volume
2012
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1155/2012/296432
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Abstract

Larix laricina K. Koch is a medicinal plant belonging to traditional pharmacopoeia of the Cree of Eeyou Istchee (Eastern James Bay area of Canada). In vitro screening studies revealed that, like metformin and rosiglitazone, it increases glucose uptake and adipogenesis, activates AMPK, and uncouples mitochondrial function. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antidiabetic and antiobesity potential of L. laricina in diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6 mice. Mice were subjected for eight or sixteen weeks to a high fat diet (HFD) or HFD to which L. laricina was incorporated at 125 and 250 mg/kg either at onset (prevention study) or in the last 8 of the 16 weeks of administration of the HFD (treatment study). L. laricina effectively decreased glycemia levels, improved insulin resistance, and slightly decreased abdominal fat pad and body weights. This occurred in conjunction with increased energy expenditure as demonstrated by elevated skin temperature in the prevention study and improved mitochondrial function and ATP synthesis in the treatment protocol. L. laricina is thus a promising alternative and complementary therapeutic approach for the treatment and care of obesity and diabetes among the Cree.

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