(Natural News) Researchers at Chonbuk National University Medical School in South Korea have found that taking mulberry leaf extract supplements can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as decrease triglyceride and total cholesterol levels.
Earlier studies have found a link between mulberry leaf supplementation and blood sugar levels. One study found positive results for mulberry leaf extract supplementation and blood sugar spikes, while another study found that a combination of mulberry, white bean, and green coffee may help reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from a high glycemic index meal.
In the study, which was published in Food & Nutrition Research, the researchers looked at the effect of mulberry leaf extract on glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells. The skeletal muscle is an excellent site of whole-body glucose uptake and utilization.
The team treated mice with 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), 100 mg/kg, or 250 mg/kg mulberry leaf extract for eight weeks. They treated another group of mice with metformin, a common anti-diabetic drug. After the treatment period, the researchers analyzed the liver and skeletal muscles of mice.
The results showed that mice supplemented with 100 and 250 mg/kg of mulberry leaf extract displayed significantly increased phosphorylated forms of several proteins. This means that the extract likely increases glucose disposal in skeletal muscle.
The findings of the study suggested that mulberry leaf extract can potentially be used for the management of Type 2 diabetes.
Other health benefits of mulberry
Mulberry, which is native to China, has long been used in folk medicine to treat many health problems. Like its leaf, mulberry fruits also provide health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of mulberry plant:
- Mulberry is a great source of antioxidants: The whole mulberry plant, including its stems, leaves, and fruit, is rich in antioxidants. One of the antioxidants mulberry contains is resveratrol. This antioxidant has positive effects on age and longevity, according to a study published by the University of Texas Health Science Center. (Related: Mulberry Leaf: Fights Diabetes, Cancer, Lowering Cholesterol & Soothing Nerves.)
- Mulberry strengthens the immune system: Mulberries contain alkaloids that activate macrophages, which are white blood cells that stimulate the immune system. By stimulating the immune system, these macrophages, in turn, put the system on high active alert against health threats.
- Mulberry is a great snack: The fruit of mulberry is an excellent source of iron, protein, fiber, and vitamins C and K. Iron helps store and transport oxygen and contributes to the growth of white blood cells which strengthen the immune system and helps prevent complications during pregnancy. Fibers help keep the digestive system healthy, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of many diseases. The vitamin C in mulberries also play a role in tissue strength as it boosts the synthesis of collage need for healthy cartilage and skin, while the vitamin K in mulberries plays a role in bone tissue development and control blood thickness. The leaves of the mulberry plant also contain protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
- Mulberry reduces swelling and redness: In traditional Chinese medicine, mulberry has been used as a remedy to treat redness and swelling. Science has also proven this effect of mulberry. A study conducted by Romanian researchers reported that a combination of curcumin and mulberry leaf might be used to relieve this kind of irritation.
- Mulberry protects the brain from damage: Mulberry also offers some brain-protecting effect. Researchers at Khon Kaen University in Thailand examined the effects of mulberry on male rats with memory impairment and brain damage. Then, they found that rats that ate mulberries had better memory and less oxidative stress compared to those that did not consume mulberries.
Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of mulberry by going to NaturalMedicine.news.