Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Herb used to treat diabetes works like modern-day prescription drugs

15.02.2005


An herb used in traditional Indian medicine to treat diabetes seems to lower blood sugar and insulin levels in a manner similar to prescription drugs, a new study reports.



Researchers gave extracts of the herb Salacia oblonga to 39 healthy adults, and the results were promising. The largest dose of the herb extract – 1,000 milligrams – decreased insulin and blood glucose levels by 29 and 23 percent, respectively. "These kinds of reductions are similar to what we might see with prescription oral medications for people with diabetes," said Steve Hertzler, a study co-author and an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio State University.

Salacia oblonga, which is native to regions of India and Sri Lanka, binds to intestinal enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the body. These enzymes, called alpha-glucosidases, turn carbohydrates into glucose, the sugar that circulates throughout the body. If the enzyme binds to the herbal extract rather than to a carbohydrate, then less glucose gets into the blood stream, resulting in lowered blood glucose and insulin levels.


"Lowering blood glucose levels lowers the risk of disease-related complications in people with diabetes," Hertzler said. "Also, poor compliance with diabetes medications often hinders the effectiveness of these drugs. It may be easier to get someone to take an herb with food or in a beverage, as opposed to a pill." The study appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Thirty-nine healthy adults participated in four separate meal tolerance tests. These meals, which were given in beverage form, were spaced three to 14 days apart. Each participant fasted for at least 10 hours before consuming the test beverage.

Participants were asked to drink about two cups’ worth of the chilled beverage, which contained zero, 500, 700 or 1,000 milligrams of Salacia oblonga extract. Afterward, the researchers used the finger-prick method to draw blood samples from each person every 15 to 30 minutes for three hours. These blood samples were used to determine insulin and blood glucose concentrations. The biggest changes in blood glucose and insulin levels usually happen within the first two hours after eating.

The beverage that contained the highest concentration of the herbal extract – 1,000 milligrams – provided the most dramatic reduction in insulin and blood glucose levels. Insulin levels were 29 percent lower, while blood glucose levels were 23 percent lower as compared to the control drink, which contained no herbal extract.

As Salacia oblonga can cause intestinal gas, the researchers had the study participants collect breath hydrogen samples hourly for eight hours after drinking the test beverage. The participants collected their breath in small plastic tubes. The researchers then analyzed these breath samples for hydrogen and methane content – the level of either substance in the breath corresponds to the level contained in the colon.

The subjects also rated the frequency and intensity of nausea, abdominal cramping and distention and gas for two days after consuming each test meal.

While the test beverages containing Salacia oblonga caused an increase in breath hydrogen excretion, reports of gastrointestinal discomfort were minimal, Hertzler said.

Right now he and his colleagues are trying to figure out what dose of the herb is most effective, and when it should be taken relative to a meal. "We want to know how long it takes for the herb to bind to the enzymes that break down carbohydrates," Hertzler said. "The participants in this study took the herb with their meal, but maybe taking it before eating would be even more effective."

The researchers also want to study the effects of Salacia oblonga in people with diabetes. "A lot of studies show that lowering blood sugar levels reduces the risk for all kinds of diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease and nerve and eye damage," Hertzler said. "We want to see if this herb has this kind of effect." Salacia oblonga is still relatively difficult to find in the United States, Hertzler said, although there are manufacturers that sell the herb through the Internet.

This study was supported by the Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories in Columbus.

Hertzler is continuing to conduct Salacia oblonga studies with the Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories. He has no links to the company beyond this affiliation.

Hertzler conducted the work with former Ohio State colleague Patricia Heacock, who is now at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; Jennifer Williams, a clinical scientist with Ross Products Division, Abbott Laboratories; and Bryan Wolf, a former research scientists with Ross Products Division.

Steve Hertzler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Climate change: In their old age, trees still accumulate large quantities of carbon

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related

17.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter

17.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>