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The anti-diabetic potential of nettles and walnut leaves


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(NaturalNews) In the United States and throughout the world, rates of diabetic patients continue to rise. In America alone, it is estimated that there are between 26 and 30 million diabetics, about a quarter of them undiagnosed and untreated. This constitutes a major challenge to the healthcare system since this chronic condition can lead to serious long-term health problems. These problems can include kidney failure, blindness, neuropathy and even amputations due to poor wound healing and/or circulation. Conventional medicine has tried to treat diabetes with insulin and/or pills to help control blood sugars, but due to the serious side effects of such medications, the search is on to find natural solutions to help manage diabetes on a day-to-day basis - and to prevent complications from arising. Let's take a look at a few natural solutions that may have significant anti-diabetic potential: Nettles and walnut leaves.

The recent study

This latest research is coming out of Iran, where scientists have been looking at both stinging nettle and walnut leaves as a potential source of new diabetic therapies. The enzymes from these plants are just two of over 400 plant extracts that are being studied worldwide for one special reason: They are able to block the activity of alpha-amylase, a substance which allows for the digestion of carbohydrates in the stomach, and for a corresponding rise in blood sugar levels.

There are, in fact, many drugs on the market called alpha-amylase inhibitors - which seek to control diabetes in this way. The reason, however, that researchers from all over the world are searching for natural ways to do this is because these particular drugs can have serious long-term side effects. This is why so many diabetes researchers are talking about this study.

What scientists found

This recent study came out of the Hormozgan University for Medical Science in Bandar Abbas, Iran. As part of their research, scientists looked at the effects the extract of both nettles and walnut leaves had in regards to blocking the activity of the alpha amylase. What they found was that both plant extracts were very effective at blocking this compound. When a dosage of 2mg/ml extract of nettle was used, the result was a 60 percent inhibition of the alpha amylase, while walnut leaf extract, at a concentration of 0.4mg/ml had the same effect.

Researchers noted that this was the first time that extracts of these plants has been clinically proven to have an anti-diabetic effect, and that this study could lead to further fruitful research in the future. And while most studies are geared towards isolating an active component - with the idea of eventually turning into a prescription or over-the-counter medication - this might not be necessary, especially not if more research reinforces the fact that simple extracts of these plants can help diabetics control their condition.

In short, diabetes is a serious condition which affects people all around the world, in wealthy and poor countries alike. However, much research is being devoted to finding natural ways to help combat this disease that do not cause serious long-term side effects like many conventional anti-diabetic drugs today. Studies like this one offer some promise of being able to come up with plant-based treatments to control diabetes and prevent the onset of the severe complications this disease can bring with it.

Sources:

http://www.herbs.org

http://www.herbwisdom.com

http://www.luminescents.co.uk

About the author:
Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments,health insurance, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.

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