Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Diabetes rates are climbing at full tilt, so keeping blood sugar levels intact could significantly lower one’s risk of the condition. A host of herbal antidotes have been studied for their lowering effects on blood glucose, and some have demonstrated promising effects. One drink, for example, could lower blood sugar within minutes of intake, according to a study.
Diabetes is a condition characterised by a dysfunction in blood sugar control that occurs when the body is unable to react to insulin, or production ceases altogether.
The consequences of this can be life-altering, with amputation and heart attack.
In one 2015 pilot study, researchers observed the effects of bitter gourd juice – also known as Kerala juice – on 30 patients with type 2 diabetes.
The sample was broken up into three separate groups to assess the effect of different beverages on blood glucose levels.
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The first group received bitter gourd juice, while the second and third groups received Knol Khol, and ash gourd juice respectively.
Participants had their blood sugar levels examined at half-hour intervals till two hours after receiving their respective beverages.
The results revealed a significant reduction of blood glucose levels 90 minutes after intake of bitter gourd juice, compared with fasting levels.
The researchers noted: “As a result, bitter gourd juice is immediately reducing the blood glucose levels, while Knol Khol juices reduce blood sugar levels gradually for longer periods of 120 minutes.”
They continued: “The study shows the significant of hypoglycaemic effects of bitter gourd and Knol Kohl juices among the type 2 diabetes patients.
“Hence, bitter gourd juice, Knol Khol juices may be beneficial in Diabetes patients to reduce the blood glucose level.”
Bitter gourd juice is derived from the rough-skinned bitter melon.
The anti-diabetic properties of the fruit have been likened to insulin, which allows glucose to be taken up by cells and converted into energy.
Consuming the fruit could therefore help cells use more glucose and move it to the liver, muscles and fat.
The juice has garnered attention in medical circles for its numerous health benefits, which include lowering effects on blood pressure.
What’s more, its various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
These effects have been attributed to the fruit’s strong lowering effects on cholesterol.
In one study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, researchers evaluated the efficacy of different parts of the fruit on lipid levels.
For the purpose of the study, four different types of bitter four were evaluated for their cholesterol-lowering potential in rats.
The whole fruit, seedless fruit seeds and seed extracts were used and compared in the study.
Researchers found the extract powder to be more effective in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides.
The findings suggest bitter gourd could aid in the treatment of both diabetes and cholesterol.
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