Plants May Be Key To Diabetes Treatment

By Amir Khan on July 2, 2012 9:02 AM EDT

Diabetes
With diabetes on the rise, scientists are looking for new treatments to control the epidemic. According to a new study, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine on Saturday, the key may lie in Aboriginal and Indian plant extracts. (Photo: Reuters)

With diabetes on the rise, scientists are looking for new treatments to control the epidemic. According to a new study, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine on Saturday, the key may lie in Aboriginal and Indian plant extracts.

Researchers from Swinburne University of Technology looked at 12 different plant extracts and found that many are able to slow down two enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism which affect blood sugar and diabetes.

Like Us on Facebook

"More than 800 plants are used as traditional remedies in one or other form for the treatment of diabetes, but the management of the disease without any side effects is still a challenge," Enzo Palombo, study author and associate professor at the Swinburne University of Technology, said in a statement. "The results obtained in this study showed that most of the traditional plant extracts have good potential for the prevention and management of diabetes."

Researchers found that Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) and the Indian kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium) slowed down both enzymes greatly and could play a role in diabetes treatment in the future, according to the study.

Other extracts, such as Sandhill wattle (Acacia ligulata), pale turpentine bush (Beyeria leshnaultii), velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) and tar vine (Boerhaavia diffusa) all affected one of the enzymes.

Managing type 2 diabetes is a complex issue, and the treatment needs to vary along with the patients, guideline authors said. Ideal blood sugar levels differ depending on your age, overall health, and other factors, according to the guidelines. Blood sugar is measured in hemoglobin A1C levels, generally referred to as A1C, and is expressed as a percentage of the amount of A1C in the blood.

High blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes come from patients with pancreas that cannot produce enough insulin hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Traditionally, doctors treat Type 2 diabetes with medications and insulin injections. Risk factors for the condition include excess body weight, high cholesterol, low activity and poor diet, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Between 1980 and 2010, the prevalence of diabetes increased 176 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 12 Americans, 25 million in total, has diabetes according to the CDC. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and nerve damage. The disease was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and cost $174 billion in medical costs, disability and loss of work in 2007, the last year with available data.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Sponsored From Around the Web

    ZergNet
Follow iScience Times
us on facebook RSS
 
us on google
 
Most Popular
INSIDE iScience Times
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet  Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)