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Bark from the islands might hold key to diabetes

Throughout the globe smaller biotechnology companies are working to find a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Often, the most promising and hopeful discoveries come from traditional and ancient medicines that have been practised in some parts of the world for thousands of years. Fresh news today is that a vine used by traditional healers in the Pacific Islands could hold keys in the long-running fight against type 2 diabetes.
The link was highlighted by a biotechnology company in Melbourne called Dia-B Tech, and could provide a natural alternative to the widely used diabetes drug insulin. The plant, whose useful part is the bark, is found in some parts of Tonga . The company have so far withheld details of the name of the plant, until they at least have a provisional patent over its usage.
Any natural alternative to insulin could open a huge hole in the diabetes market, and have huge implications for the lifestyles of diabetes sufferers across the globe. The chief executive of the company, Ken Smith, reportedly said “what I can tell you is that plant has been used by traditional healers in Tonga to heal type two diabetes and obesity over hundreds of years. They mix it with a potion of various plants and tree barks which are ground, mixed with water and taken orally with great results.” According to another expert, the plant has ‘very strong’ insulin-like qualities.

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