The benefits of a pear-enriched diet in managing type 2 diabetes and hypertension have been investigated in a new in vitro (test tube) study.
Researchers from North Dakota State University examined two compounds found in two pear varieties, Bartlett and Starkrimso, to better understand how they impact chronic diseases.
The team’s research followed up on a previous in vitro study examining how pulp extracts of different pear varieties impact glucose absorption during digestion.
They observed compounds in these pears such as phenolics (which help provide flavour and colour characteristics) and antioxidants, while the activity of enzymes related to starch and glucose metabolism was also slowed down.
This activity relates to managing the early stages of hyperglycemia and hypertension induced by diabetes. Researchers believe pears may have the potential for phenolic-linked management of hyperglycemia and could be included in dietary strategies for people with type 2 diabetes.
While the scientists are yet to evaluate if these in vitro studies can yield similar results in humans, the findings provide a foundation for future studies to test how the pear can be used to treat type 2 diabetes.
“It’s exciting to explore the potential that pears can have to balance beneficial bacterial activity in the digestive process, as gut health helps support overall health of the body,” said Dr. Kalidas Shetty, PhD, professor of plant science at North Dakota State University.

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