(Natural News) Good news for diabetics: A study, published in Chinese Herbal Medicines, revealed that the golden tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria) can be used to treat insulin resistance. The researchers, who were from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College and China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, determined the effect of ethyl acetate extract of C. tinctoria on insulin resistance of rats fed with a high-fat diet.
Insulin resistance is a condition wherein the body becomes less responsive or immune to the presence of insulin, a hormone responsible for metabolism and cell growth. To compensate for the body’s reduced sensitivity, the pancreas will try to make more insulin so that its effects can still be observed. Unfortunately, the pancreas can only produce insulin up to a certain level. If they can’t meet the body’s insulin demands, blood sugar will rise. This is why insulin resistance is a risk factor for both Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Following a high-fat diet can lead to insulin resistance. The reason for this is fat buildup in the bloodstream. These fats then break down into toxic fatty acids and free radicals that can inhibit the insulin signaling process.
In this study, male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were fed a high-fat diet. This caused a significant increase in blood glucose, insulin, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. Collectively, these factors induced insulin resistance. Aside from this, an abnormal metabolic state was also observed as a result of reduced glycogen synthesis and increased phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), glucose 6-phosphatase (G6Pase), and Krebs cycle-related enzyme protein levels.
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Rats with insulin resistance were then treated with ethyl acetate extract of C. tinctoria for eight weeks. As a result of this treatment, improvements in fasting serum glucose homeostasis and lipid homeostasis were observed. In addition to these, increases in glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis were also observed, along with a reduction in PEPCK and G6Pase protein levels.
High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry experiments were also conducted to provide more evidence for the effectiveness of C. tinctoria. Results from these experiments indicated that the treatment restored the animals’ metabolic rates to normal.
Overall, the results show that ethyl acetate extracts of C. tinctoria can ameliorate insulin resistance. (Related: Learn These 10 symptoms of insulin resistance and prevent chronic disease.)
Alternative ways to improve insulin resistance
Besides the beneficial effects of golden tickseed, there are other ways to improve insulin resistance. These include:
- Sleeping – Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep leads to insulin resistance. It was observed that people who slept for four hours were less sensitive to insulin than people who got full eight hours of sleep. The good thing is it’s possible to go back to normal insulin sensitivity by catching up on lost sleep.
- Exercising – Regular exercise immediately improves insulin resistance, lasting for two to 48 hours. This reaction can be attributed to the movement of sugar into the muscles for storage. Aerobics and resistance training are said to be the most effective forms of exercise.
- Quitting smoking – The nicotine in cigarettes has been shown to induce the production of excess glucose. This makes it more difficult for the body to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
- Avoiding stress – Under stress, the body will produce the stress hormone cortisol. This causes the muscles and cells to have increased insulin resistance and higher blood sugar levels.
- Losing weight – Excess belly fat has been linked to the production of hormones that cause insulin resistance. By losing excess fat, insulin sensitivity is returned to normal. Aside from this, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is also reduced.
Learn more studies about the golden tickseed and other Chinese herbal medicines by visiting ChineseMedicine.news today.