Herbal blend containing two plant extracts shown to protect the pancreas of diabetic patients

Diabetes is not a sweet problem to have – a fact that nearly 30 million Americans know all too well. While there are a number of available methods for controlling the condition, its effects, and the risk of its complications, most of these involve the intake of risky chemical drugs. A natural herbal blend made from vitexin and mistletoe figs could be a viable alternative, as concluded by research published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Diabetes mellitus (DM), more popularly known as just diabetes, is one of the top causes of death worldwide. It’s not the disease that kills per se, but the complications that stem from it that do. Diabetes is closely linked to higher risks of cardiovascular disease, kidney impairments, blindness, and other forms of organ damage.

Aside from strict diet regimens and exercise, DM is also controlled through the use of chemical drugs that are not at all free from side effects. These can range from mild symptoms, such as diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, and weight gain, to outright life-threatening outcomes, such as liver damage, increased risk of anemia, and rapid drops in blood sugar.

For some people, it’s only a matter of learning to take the bad with the good. After all, what are a few symptoms when at the end of the day, one can enjoy the perks of stable blood sugar levels? However, even scientists agree that chemical drugs cannot sufficiently keep blood sugar fluctuations, a common problem among diabetics, under control.

An alternative treatment that has little to none of the adverse effects of chemical medications, one that even people with sensitive constitutions can benefit from, is thus the goal of many hours spent on research. Scientists are looking to nature for possible leads.

The combination of vitexin and isovitexin, a compound found in the leaves of ornamental mistletoe figs (Ficus deltoidea), has been the subject of much interest because of their antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties observed in animal models.

The study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine sought to identify the effects of this combination on the histology, insulin secretion, and oxidative status of diabetic rats, factors that previous studies have not examined in depth. In particular, the researchers wanted to understand how F. deltoidea and vitexin protected pancreatic β-cells, the same cells that are responsible for the production and release of insulin.

During the study, the researchers gathered 30 four-week-old Sprague Dawley. They measured the animals’ weight and blood glucose levels. Within a week, they raised the animals’ blood glucose levels to diabetic range through injection of STZ.

The rats were given F. deltoidea and vitexin for eight weeks. After this period, their glucose and insulin tolerances were determined using an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) and intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test (IPITT), respectively. The researchers also looked into the animals’ insulin resistance, pancreatic histological changes, and fatty acid composition pattern. The infrared spectra of both the rats’ serum and pancreas were also noted.

Results indicated that both F. deltoidea and vitexin led to an increase in antioxidant enzymes in the pancreas. The herbal combination also promoted the regeneration of the islets of Langerhans, the areas that house the pancreas’ endocrine cells. Interestingly, the researchers observed a great increase in insulin secretion only in rats that were treated with F. deltoidea.

For the researchers, the results of their study assert the role of both F. deltoidea and vitexin in pancreatic function, repair, and protection from oxidative damage. They believe that these effects point to these two herb’s therapeutic potential for treating DM.

Find more natural treatments for diabetes at Remedies.news.

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