Background and purpose: Okra plant has different properties and some studies reported that this plant can lower the complications of diabetes. Herein, we studied the effects of okra powder on histomorphometry and histochemitry of the thyroid gland, lipid profile, as well as T3 and T4 hormones in HDF/STZ diabetic Wistar rats.
Materials and methods: In this experimental study twenty-five adult male Wistar rats (200-250 g) were divided into five groups of control group, healthy rats without any treatment (G1), control group receiving 200 mg/kg of okra daily for four weeks (G2), diabetic rats without any treatment (G3), diabetic rats receiving 200 mg/kg of metformin daily for four weeks (G4), and diabetic rats receiving 200 mg/kg of okra daily for four weeks (G5). For inducing diabetes, the rats were fed high-fat diet (HFD) for four weeks. Then, streptozotocin (35 mg/kg) was injected intravenously. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were taken for measurement of triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), as well as T3, and T4 hormones levels. The animals were euthanized and the thyroid glands were removed and fixed in 10% buffered formalin. 5-6 μ slices were made from paraffin section and stained by H&E and aldehyde fuchsin.
Results: Compared to the control group, the number and size of large follicles of the thyroid gland decreased significantly in the diabetic group, while the number of small follicles increased significantly (P<0.05). There were significant reductions in concentrations of T3 and T4, whereas triglyceride and LDL-c levels elevated in the diabetic group (P<0.05). These changes were improved using metformin and okra compared to the diabetic group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Okra powder can be effective in preventing, managing, and attenuating the complications of diabetes.