Saturday, July 14, 2012

African Tea May Treat Type-2 Diabetes

A simple tea, long used as treatment in traditional Nigerian medicine has shown great promise as a treatment for type-2 Diabetes mellitus. This tea is produced from an extract of Rauvolfia Vomitoria (poison devil`s-pepper) and the fruit of Citrus aurantium (bitter orange). Researches have recently begun testing this tea on patients with type-2 diabetes and the results are promising. A few other uses for Rauvolfia Vomitoria in African medicine include treatment for hypertension, to decrease heart rate, as an aphrodisiac, to stop bleeding, as an antidepressant and to get rid of worms and parasites. It is called poison because these same beneficial effects can lead to undesirable side effects in larger doses. Medicinal uses for the Citrus aurantium include treatments for nausea, indigestion, insomnia, nasal congestion and for weight loss. Bitter orange contains the chemical synephrine which is structurally similar to ephedra. The oil in the peel contains most of the medicinal compounds. Researchers harvested the tea ingredients in Africa and produced it according to the exact recipe local healers use. The leaves, young stalks and fruit of the above plants are boiled, and then the mixture is filtered. The resultant liquid is then used as medicine. From Mice to Humans Associate Professor Per Molgaard and post-doc Joan Campbell-Tofte from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen initially tested the tea on genetically diabetic mice. After 6 weeks of daily treatment with the tea, combined with a low fat diet, changes in the combination and amount of fat in the animals` eyes were noted and the fragile pancreases of these mice appeared to have been protected. After the successful trial with mice, the researchers proceeded to a four month long test on 23 patients with type-2 diabetes and were very pleased with the results at the end of the trial. The subjects drank 750ml (about 3 cups) of the tea each day. The tea itself had no effect on the sugar content of the blood, but after 4 months of treatment, a significant increase in glucose tolerance was noted. Fatty Acid Changes Another change noted when the test subjects were compared to the placebo group, was in the composition of fatty acids. "In the patient group who drank the tea, the number of polyunsaturated fatty acids increased. That is good for the body`s cells because the polyunsaturated fat causes the cell membranes to be more permeable, which results in the cells absorbing glucose better from the blood," said Joan Campbell-Tofte. The researchers are hopeful that this preliminary study leads to new clinical trials in the future which will result in a new treatment for type-2 diabetes. Source -

1 comment:

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