Medicinal food: Aronia berry found to have an anti-diabetic effect

Aronia berry, also known as chokeberry, is used as a medicinal food in Europe. This is probably because of its high content of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, anthocyanins, flavonoids, and tannins. This herbal plant is also known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.

In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, aronia berry has been found to be an effective herbal treatment for Type 1 diabetes. It has been shown to effectively reduce the increase of blood glucose level and protect pancreatic beta cells.

Type 1 diabetes is an insulin-dependent diabetes caused by damage and destruction of pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. In this condition, the pancreas does not produce insulin or is making very little. Without insulin, blood sugar cannot enter cells, resulting in high blood sugar.

Researchers from Chonbuk National University, Kunjang University, and Sunchang Research Institute of Health and Longevity in South Korea examined the effects of aronia berry extract on Type 1 diabetes and evaluated the functional properties of aronia berry. (Related: Grow Your Own Antioxidants with Aronia Berry Bushes.)

For the study, the researchers induced Type 1 diabetes in mice by injecting streptozotocin. Then, they orally gave mice the aronia berry extract. They measured the mice’s dietary intake and body weight twice a week.

The results of the study revealed that aronia berry extract treatment can decrease the spike of blood glucose level. In addition, the aronia berry extract treatment also exhibited protective effects on pancreatic beta cells.

Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that aronia berry has anti-diabetic properties as it helped reduce the increase of blood glucose level and provided pancreatic beta cells some form of protection.

Another superfood to include in your diet

If you are looking for another superfood to add to your diet, consider adding aronia berries. Fresh aronia berries can be made into juice, jam, syrup, and wine, while dried aronia berries can be consumed as a healthy snack, added to muesli, or used in baked goods like muffins. Some countries use dried aronia berries to make herbal tea. Here are several reasons why this superfood is a great addition to your diet:

  • Aronia berries are packed with antioxidants and nutrients: Aronia berries are one of the berries and other fruits that have the highest antioxidant capacity. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamins C, B, and K.
  • Aronia berries may help fight cancer: Several studies have shown that aronia berries prevented the growth of colon cancer the best among grapes and aronia. This fruit has also been found to help reduce cell damage associated with breast cancer.
  • Aronia berries support organ health: One study examined the effects of aronia fruit juice in mice with liver damage and found that it reduced the severity and symptoms of liver damage. Another mice study found that it has protective effects against liver damage, suggesting that the effect may be attributed to its antioxidant activity. Aronia berry juice can also help reduce the severity of symptoms of damaged stomach linings, according to a study in mice.
  • Aronia berries can help prevent cardiovascular diseases: Aronia berries have been shown to possess protective properties against coronary heart disease, according to a 2015 study. The fruit’s extracts helped relax blood vessels, which in turn, improved blood flow. Another study also found the same results and also found that aronia could lower blood pressure.

Aronia berry has been gaining popularity not only among researchers and health-conscious consumers, but also among farmers. In Nebraska, farmers are now growing the aronia berry plant because its income potential was 10 times more profitable than corn.

“We knew corn and soybeans weren’t doing real well right now so we thought we’d put a few of our acres to this,” said Mike Rader, a farm owner.

Read more news stories and studies on herbal medicines for diabetes like aronia berry by going to

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