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Diabetes Health Strategies & Herbal Properties

August 25, 2012

The key message for anyone wanting to control weight, cholesterol levels and to prevent chronic conditions like Diabetes is that exercise should play an integral part of a wider healthy lifestyle strategy (Exercise, Irisin & Fat Loss).

As part of a healthy lifestyle Herbal mixes may also be a good way of complementing your well-being and help to prevent chronic conditions such as diabetes.  We have included a summary on a range of recent scientific studies on, amongst others, Ginger, Green Tea and Cinnamon.

Ranasinghe et al review systematically the various scientific investigations on the eficacy of cinnamon for the treatment of Diabetes.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted in the following databases like PubMed, Web of Science, Biological Abstracts etc.

 

The literature search identified 16 studies on Cinnamon (five in-vitro, six in-vivo and five in-vivo/in-vitro).

Conclusion:  Cinnamon demonstrates numerous beneficial effects both in vitro and in vivo as a potential therapeutic agent for diabetes. The authors suggest further randomized clinical trials to establish therapeutic safety and efficacy.

Use of cinnamon was shown, by Kleefstra et al, to have a beneficial effect on glycaemic control and the short term (<4 months) effects of the use of cinnamon on glycaemic control looks promising.

Results from a study by Vernarelli & Lambert support growing laboratory data, which demonstrate the association of Tea (Camellia sinensis) intake with reduced markers of Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, and fat — that increases risk of heart disease and diabetes. Diet, exercise, and medications help to improve the above conditions. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol levels, and fat — that increases risk of heart disease and diabetes. Diet, exercise, and medications help to improve the above conditions.

Mukherjee & Sengupta characterized the inhibitor of sugar breakdown as nimbidiol (a diterpenoid), present in root and stem-bark of the Neem tree.

This Nimbidiol inhibited intestinal (mammalian): maltase-glucoamylase, sucrase-isomaltase, lactase, trehalase and fungal α-glucosidases. 

Development of nimbidiol as an anti-diabetic drug appears to be promising because of broad inhibition spectrum of intestinal glucosidases (sugar degrading enzymes).

The enhancement of glucose uptake in model animal systems (studied by Li et al) suggests that gingerol, a principle component of Ginger, supports the potential of ginger for the prevention and management of hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes.

The hypoglycemic and antioxidants effects of extracts of the leaves of Amla (Emblica officinalis) was studied by Nain et al in an animal model study.

Oral administration of the Amla extract demonstrated a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose and increase in insulin level.

 

The results clearly suggest that Emblica officinalis may normalize impaired antioxidant status iand help to protect against lipid peroxidation by scavenging of free radicals and reducing the risk of diabetic complications.

Hibiscus, amongst other plants, was investigated by Adisakwattana et al was quantified with respect to intestinal alpha-glucosidase (maltase and sucrase) inhibition and pancreatic alpha-amylase inhibition by glucose oxidase method and dinitrosalicylic (DNS) reagent, respectively. The data suggests useful development opportunities of functional foods using these types of herbs for treatment and prevention of diabetes.

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