Diabetes is a progressive metabolic disorder with a characteristic
of hyperglycemia that is accompanied by abnormalities in carbohydrates (ADA, 2010) , lipid (Goldberg, 2001) and protein metabolism (Gougeon, Pencharz, and Sigal (1997).
While the cascade of events that leads to the development of the most common
type, type 2 diabetes (T2D) has long been the subject
of debate (Lewis, Carpentier, Adeli, & Giacca, 2002; Michael, Ritzel, Haataja, & Chow,
2006), it
is well recognized that insulin resistance (IR) and ?-cell dysfunction are key
features in the pathogenesis of T2D (Bergman, Ader, Huecking, & Van Citters, 2002). On the other hand, type 1 diabetes (T1D) is characterized by
hyperglycemia due to insulin deficiency caused
by the destruction of insulin-secreting ?-cells through an immune
process (Hattersley, Bruining, Shield, Njolstad, &
Donaghue, 2009). Although T1D accounts for 5-10 % of diabetes cases, it is
accompanied by serious complications (American Diabetes, 2010). In diabetes, hepatic glucose production is altered significantly, and
it is correlated to the elevated fasting
blood glucose (Halter, Ward, Porte, Best, & Pfeifer, 1985). Additionally, there is
considerable evidence that hyperglycemia has a role in the pathogenesis
of diabetic complications (Ahmed, 2005; Stratton et al., 2000). It
is hypothesized that increased glucose
metabolism could lead to excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
that impairs cell function and survival
leading to development of diabetic macro and microvascular complications (Brownlee, 2001). Moreover, hyperglycemia aggravates IR to form a vicious cycle
that is called glucotoxicity (Rossetti, 1995) which further could worsen the disease status. According to
multiple reports about research conducted in Jordan, it is documented that
diabetes is the 4th leading cause of mortality in Jordan accounting
for 7% of all deaths (Centers for Disease & Prevention, 2006;
Zindah, Belbeisi, Walke, &
Mokdad, 2008). Two
decades ago, a study estimated the prevalence of diabetes in Jordan and stated
it to be approximately 14% (Ajlouni, Jaddou, & Batieha, 1998) and the incidence increased by about 30% in a period of 10 years (Ajlouni, Khader, Batieha, Ajlouni, & El-Khateeb, 2008). Further,
the economic cost of treating diabetes and its complications is an increasing
burden (Zimmet, 2003). More than 50% of Jordanian patients diagnosed with diabetes
didn’t have adequate control over their blood glucose levels (Ajlouni et al., 2008)
which may result in an increase in the individual and national burden of this

A number of studies
have shown that improved glucose control may reduce the risk of microvascular
complications (Nazimek-Siewniak, Moczulski, & Grzeszczak, 2002;
Ohkubo et al., 1995; UKPDS, 1998).
Intensive glucose therapy lowered the risk of microvascular complication in T2D
patients than those receiving conventional dietary therapy with a significant
decrease in the risk of macrovascular and microvascular disease associated with
the treatment starting at the diagnosis time (Holman, Paul, Bethel, Matthews, & Neil, 2008;
UKPDS, 1998).
Despite the tremendous knowledge about the disease and the approaches of its
treatment, yet there is no cure for it. Besides, some
of the treatments have their side effects (Perfetti, Barnett, Mathur, & Egan, 1998). In addition, patients diagnosed
with T1D requiring insulin administration will need it for survival (Atkinson, Eisenbarth, & Michels, 2014). While. the continuous glucose monitoring and intensive treatment
for these patients showed improvements in glycemic control of adult individuals,
it weren’t efficient in younger patients
who are more commonly diagnosed with this
disease (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Continuous
Glucose Monitoring Study et al. (2008)
and this adds more challenges to their treatment. Furthermore, patients with
T1D may have IR prior diagnosis or develop it after diagnosis which makes the
treatment even more complicated (Greenbaum, 2002). Therefore, the search for natural and safer anti-diabetic
compounds is a necessity and it is continuing to be the pivotal point of the
medicinal research interest due to their diverse biological activities. Eruca
sativa L. (syn. E. vesicaria subsp. sativa (Miller) Thell, Brassica eruca
L.) commonly known as arugula, rocket salad, garden rocket, or Jarjir is one of
the popular edible herbs freshly consumed as a salad or part of the salad in
Jordan. The uses of this plant in traditional medicine are well known in its
domestication region, the Mediterranean region. It was used as a diuretic and
digestive agent, as an aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory and to treat other
diseases such as eye, skin, and kidney-related diseases (De Feo & Senatore, 1993). In addition, research on this plant increased and gained more
importance in the past decade and a half due to its constituents possible
chemopreventive effects (Azarenko, Jordan, & Wilson, 2014; Lamy et al., 2008). In
Jordan, while it is unusual to use the fresh leaves of Eruca sativa L.
as a medicinal herb (Afifi & Abu-Irmaileh, 2000), the seed and its oil are more commonly documented in the
Jordanian folk medicine (Lev & Amar, 2002). Several experimental studies validated some of the beneficial
effects of the reported traditional uses of Eruca. Furthermore, the
leaves and seeds of this herbal plant have distinguished constituents hence
uses. The crude extract and more prominently the ethyl acetate extract of the
leaves attenuated the activity of urease which is indirectly related to the
pathology of many diseases including ulcer (H. Khan & Khan, 2014). Moreover, the extract showed protective effects against induced-ulcer
in albino rats which might be due its antioxidant activity (Alqasoumi, Al-Sohaibani, Al-Howiriny, Al-Yahya, &
Rafatullah, 2009).
Also, it is documented that the ethanolic extract of the seeds had a protective
effect in mercuric chloride induced-renal toxicity in rats and the effect was
dose-dependent (Sarwar Alam, Kaur, Jabbar, Javed, & Athar, 2007). These
observed protective effects against diseases of Eruca leaves and seeds
extracts may be due to their phytonutrients content such as flavonoids, sterol,
and triterpenes (Al-Howiriny et al., 2005; La Casa, Villegas, Alarcon de la
Lastra, Motilva, & Martin Calero, 2000; Sarwar Alam et al., 2007). In addition, Eruca is high in
vitamin C, which possess strong antioxidant activity as well (Martinez-Sanchez, Gil-Izquierdo, Gil,
& Ferreres, 2008). The previously
noted studies reveal a wide range of pharmacological activities of Eruca
sativa L. pointing out the properties of Eruca sativa L. as a possible
functional food. However, it’s long-known that cultivation conditions affects
the composition then the nutritive value of plants including Eruca sativa
(Bell, Spadafora, Muller, Wagstaff, & Rogers, 2016;
Hall, Jobling, & Rogers, 2015;
Spadafora et al., 2016). There
is a complexity of influences between several factors such as day light vs.
artificial light, radiation, availability of water, temperature, and other
factors (Jin et al., 2009; Pugliese, Cogliati, Gullino, & Garibaldi, 2012) and
the different agriculture practices including postharvest settings on the
nutritive quality of Eruca (Cavaiuolo, Cocetta, Bulgari, Spinardi, &
Ferrante, 2015; Saini, Shang,
Ko, Choi, & Keum, 2015). For
instance, the content of vitamin C was affected by different cultivation and
storage conditions that changed the content of vitamin C in Eruca between
50 and 350 mg/100 g of fresh herbage ((Santos, Mendiola, Oliveira, Ibanez, & Herrero, 2012). Similarly, cultivation and postharvest conditions affected
flavonoids and other secondary metabolites in Eruca (Jin et al., 2009). Thus
having different growth conditions and cultivation practices in Jordan may
affect the composition of this plant. Therefore, it of considerable importance
to evaluate Eruca sativa components and to investigate its promising therapeutic
capacity regarding the anti-diabetic effect which to date was not explored.

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