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Birch bark

Birch bark nutrient prevents obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol

Monday, January 10, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: birch bark, diabetes, health news

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(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBC) in China have identified a powerful compound in birch bark called betulin that helps lower cholesterol and prevent both diabetes and obesity. And betulin works particularly better than the statin drug lovastatin at lowering cholesterol, except without the harmful side effects.

Dr. Bao-Liang Song and his colleagues from SIBC tested the effects of betulin and found that it specifically targets the genes responsible for making harmful blood fats like triglycerides by effectively lowering their activity and protecting against disease. And since the compound is "abundant in birch bark," it has the potential to revolutionize the way blood fat levels are managed.

Concerning cholesterol levels, betulin was shown to lower lipid levels more effectively than lovastatin. And insulin-wise, betulin helps keep artery walls free and clear of build-ups and blockages, also known as atherosclerosis.

Long used as an herbal remedy, betulin has been investigated for many other medicinal purposes as well:
-The medicinal mushroom Chaga, for example, is rich in betulinic acid. And the betulin is recognized as one of the mushroom's many anti-cancer compounds (http://www.naturalnews.com/024869_Daniel_Vit...).
-A study out of the University of Latvia found that betulin helps lower inflammation (http://www.privatemdlabs.com/blood-testing-n...).
-A 2003 study out of Russia found that betulin is a powerful antiviral nutrient (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=Art...).

Despite the fact that some reports have falsely identified betulin as a "drug", the compound is really nothing more than a natural phytonutrient that birch trees themselves use as a natural protective "medicine". Betulin is nothing like the pharmaceutical drugs sold at pharmacies; when formulated as an extract, it is a simple herbal supplement like the many others sold at health food stores.

Sources for this story include:

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