Tuesday, January 23, 2018 by Ralph Flores
The next big thing in diabetes treatment may just be in your garden. The dog-rose, a hedge plant native to Europe and Africa, has shown antidiabetic properties, according to researchers from the High School of Sciences and Technology of Tunis and the National Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology in Tunisia.
The study, titled Antioxidant activity and a-amylase inhibitory potential of Rosa canina L., looked at the therapeutic properties of the dog-rose plant; in particular, its capacity to kill free radicals and inhibit alpha-amylase activity in the body.
Dog-rose (Rosa canina L.), has been used in folk medicine around the area to treat colds, flu, and gastrointestinal disorders. In Turkey, the plant is given to patients who suffer from hemorrhoids and diabetes. Additionally, the pseudo-fruit of R. canina L., called rosehip, possess anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and anti-diabetic properties.
Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a condition wherein a person’s blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are abnormally high. This is caused by a deficiency in the body’s production of insulin, a hormone that helps transport blood glucose to cells in order to provide them with energy. (Related: Diabetes 101: Defining the Disease and How to Test for It (Part 1 of 4).)
Its most common forms include type-1 diabetes (where your body does not make insulin) and type-2 diabetes (where your body has trouble producing insulin).
When the body does not make enough insulin, glucose remains in the blood and causes serious health issues. These can range from optic damage (eye damage), neuropathy (nerve damage), and nephropathy (damage to the kidneys). When blood sugar levels are too high, blood circulation is impeded, making the healing process of wounds to be slow. In extreme cases, this leads to tissue death around the wounded area, usually called gangrene.
If a person has diabetes, his first order of business is always to maintain his blood sugar level, especially his diet. This is because the body contains enzymes, which break down complex nutrients (including carbohydrates and sugars) into food components that can be easily absorbed by the body. Alpha-amylase (or α-Amylase) is an example of such an enzyme. In particular, alpha-amylase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down complex starch into glucose that finds its way into the blood.
In the study, the authors wrote that polyphenols, naturally occurring bioactive ingredients found in plants, may help in keeping stable blood sugar levels and regulate starch degradation to glucose.
To test this theory, researchers prepared an extract made from the dog-rose flower and its pseudo-fruit. This was then tested to determine its possible therapeutic and pharmacological uses.
Researchers found out that dog-rose extract possessed important phenols and flavonoids which are good sources of antioxidants. Moreover, it was also able to effectively inhibit alpha-amylase from producing maltose and glucose after digesting starch.
“This inhibitory capability suggested that rosa canina could potentially delay starch digestion following carbohydrate dense meal consumption,” researchers wrote. “Hence, habitual drinking of rosa canina infusion could be beneficial for controlling diabetes.”
Having diabetes doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. It does, however, come with some added responsibilities. Making sure that blood sugar is maintained and proper diet could spell the difference between a healthy and happy life despite the condition. Here are some foods that a person with diabetes can enjoy and still be healthy.
Learn more about managing diabetes by reading DiabetesScienceNews.com today.