Future of diabetes treatment in food and drink

Mon, 05 Dec 2005
Some naturally occurring compounds could be used to help treat diabetes in the future. Diet, continually emphasised as a major factor in diabetic living, could also become a major part of future treatments. The journal of the American Chemical Society has recently published several studies that highlight potential areas for development in diabetes treatment. The results of these studies include:

Black, green and oolong teas increased insulin activity in fat cells taken from rats. This, according to study leader Richard Anderson, was due to the presence of epigallocatechin gallate, an active compound occurring in tea.

Cinnamon could lower blood sugar levels. Test tube studies showed that several compounds obtained from cinnamon increased sugar metabolism by up to 20 times. Furthermore, in a test by the same team, half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day over a period of 40 days lowered blood sugar amongst type 2 diabetic volunteers.

Naturally occurring chemicals present in cherries could also help reduce blood sugar levels. The chemicals, known as anthocyanins, led to increased insulin production in animal pancreatic cells. The scale of the change was up to 50%.

Finally, buckwheat was shown to decrease blood glucose by between 12 and 19 percent when tested on diabetic rats. The study, by the University of Manitoba in Canada, displays how useful buckwheat could be in managing diabetes.
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