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Natural Indian Herb Treats Diabetes As Well As Drugs

Because you know I'm a fan of natural, inexpensive solutions to treat conditions, I was attracted to a study that discovered Salacia oblonga, an herb used in traditional Indian medicine to treat diabetes, appears to lower blood sugar and insulin levels in a similar way to prescription drugs.

Researchers tested the herb's effectiveness in four doses, ranging from zero to 1,000 mgs., given to 39 patients and 3-14 days apart. The largest dose of the herb extract was found to decrease insulin and blood glucose levels by 29 and 23 percent, respectively.

Afterward, scientists drew blood samples from each person every 15-30 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.

Common in India and Sri Lanka, Salacia oblonga binds to intestinal enzymes -- alpha-glucosidases -- that break down carbohydrates in the body. These 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.

Before you start looking for this extract, however, consider this three-step plan to treat diabetes now. Not only can it help you gain control over your diabetes if you have it, but protect you from getting it if you don't.

EurekAlert February 14, 2005

The Ohio State University February 7, 2005

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