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Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome of impaired carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism caused by either lack of insulin secretion or decreased sensitivity of the tissues to insulin (Guyton, 2006).Diabetes is a serious metabolic abnormality characterized with micro and macro vascular

complications that result in significant morbidity and mortality. This is due to chronic hyperglycemia with disturbance of carbohydrate, fats and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both (World Health Organization, 1999).Diabetes mellitus is a progressive disease and is one of the major killer diseases in recent times. The increasing proportion of aging population, consumption of caloric rich diet, obesity and sedentary lifestyle have led to tremendous increase on the number of diabetic worldwide (Wild et al, 2004) there are over 171 million people or 2.8% of the population predicted to be suffering from this ailment as of 2000 (Wild et al, 2004). There are three main type of diabetes which includes:

·         Type 1 diabetes which results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, presently require the person to inject exogenous insulin (Guyton, 2006)

·         Type 2 diabetes which results from insulin resistance, a condition which is caused by decreased sensitivity of target tissues to the metabolic effect of insulin (Guyton, 2006)

·      Gestational diabetes which is a type of diabetes that result, when pregnant women who have never had diabetes before develop a high blood glucose level during pregnancy (Reece et al, 2002). It may precede development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Other forms of diabetes mellitus include: congenital diabetes which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes.

Majority of patients with diabetes have type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes affecting 90 to 95% of the U.S diabetes population. Although the type1 and type2diabetes have distinct pathogenesis, hyperglycemia and various life threatening complications resulting from long-term hyperglycemia are the most common features (WHO, 1999)

All forms of diabetes have been treatable since exogenous insulin became available in 1921 and type 2 diabetes can be controlled with medications. Both type 1 and type 2 are chronic conditions which cannot be cured. Pancreas transplant have been tried with limited success in type 1 diabetes mellitus, gastric bypass surgery have been successful in many morbid obesity and type 2 DM.

Gestational diabetes usually resolves after delivery and in some cases precedes the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (Reece et al, 2002). Gestational diabetes must be managed for safety of the fetus and the expectant mother. Managing gestational diabetes could be difficult and care must be taken in drug administration because of the health of the baby and the expectant mother. Diabetes without treatment can cause many complications. Acute complications include: hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, or nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Serious long-term complications include; cardiovascular disease, chronic renal failure, retinal damage etc. Adequate treatment of diabetes is thus important as well as blood pressure control and lifestyle factors such as smoking cessation and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Although providing good glycemic control, current therapies do little in preventing complications. Besides this, anti-diabetic drugs are associated with side effects and in gestational diabetes; patients are cautioned against the use of drugs because of the health of the developing fetus and the expectant mother. Thus, it is necessary to continue to look for new and if possible safer drugs.

The traditional treatment of diabetes may include a low sugar and carbohydrate diet  accompanied with exercise for mild cases. For more severe and harder to control glucose levels, diabetes can be treated by the administration of exogenous insulin in the case of type 1 and / or sulfonylurea antidiabetic drugs which are said to have side or adverse effect, though lowers the

blood glucose levels.

More than 400 species of plants have been reported to display antidiabetic effects but only few of them have been investigated (Miura et al, 2002) and the world health organization have recommended that more research should be done on antidiabetic plants.(WHO, 2002). WHO estimates that 4 billion people, i.e. 80% of the world population, use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care (Farnsworth et al, 1985). Many herbs either wholly or their extracts are consumed by pregnant women effects of which are not known on the mother and their children. Ocimum gratissimum (Linn) is one of the herbs commonly consume by pregnant women in Nigeria and it is of the family Lamicae, is a native to the tropical and warm temperate region of the world. O. gratissimum is one of the species from the genus. It is commonly called African basil or shrubby basil. It is Efinrin in Yoruba, Diadoyal in Hausa and Nchuanwu in Igbo (Owulade, 2004). In Nigeria, the plant is used in the treatment of miscarriage (Ogbe et al., 2009), diarrhea (Sofowora, 1993), and high fever (Oliver, 1960). It has also been reported to have antibacterial (Nakamura et al., 1999) and antihelmintic (Pessoa et al., 2002) activities. There is however, paucity of literature on its effect on gestational diabetics during pregnancy and its outcome. Hence, this study was designed to provide information on the effect of aqueous extract of O. gratissimum leaves on pregnancy and its outcome in alloxan-induced diabetic pregnant rats.


There is increased risk of diabetes in Nigeria and need to provide alternative treatment plans. In 2000, according to the World Health Organization, at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, or 2.8% of the population. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by 2030, this number will almost double. A 2008 study completed in the US found that a number of American Women entering pregnancy with preexisting diabetes is increasing. Infact, the rate of diabetes in expectant mother has been more than double in the past six years. This is particularly problematic as diabetes raise the risk of complications during pregnancy as well as increase potential that children of diabetic mother will also become diabetic in the future. Pregnant women who developed diabetes during pregnancy are cautioned against use of drugs because of the health of the developing fetus and the expectant mother. Thus, the need to look  for treatment options for gestational diabetes. So, in this study, we looked at variability and correlation studies in basil scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum), particularly the effect of Ocimum gratissimum leaves on pregnancy and its outcome in diabetic pregnant rats because there is paucity of literature materials on the effect of aqueous extract of O. gratissimum on weight gain, fasting blood glucose and pregnancy outcome in diabetic pregnant rats.

            AIM OF THE STUDY

The aim of this study is to cary out variability and correlation studies in basil scent leaf and to alsdetermine the effect of aqueous extract of Ocimum gratissimum leaves on pregnancy and its outcome in pregnant rats.


The objectives of the design of this research are to;

❖     Determine the effect of the aqueous extract of O. gratissimum leaves on pregnancy and weight gain in diabetic pregnant rats.

❖     Determine the effect of the aqueous extract of O. gratissimum leaves on fasting blood glucose in diabetic and non-diabetic pregnant rats.

❖     Determine the effect of aqueous extract of Ocimum gratissimum leaves on pregnancy outcome in diabetic and non-

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