Type 2 Diabetes – Can Natural Products Be Used To Help Manage Diabetes Symptoms?

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One important way to discover whether a product works is to study how it works. If a mechanism can be defined, then we have good evidence the treatment is effective. In May 2017, the journal Current Diabetes Review reported on a study on natural products for treating Type 2 diabetes. Investigators at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil reviewed all the articles they could find concerning scientific testing of molecules from plant species purported to be therapeutic against Type 2 diabetes. The following molecules reportedly have anti-diabetic activity with defined ways of working…

  1. Quercetin,
  2. Oleanolic acid,
  3. Kaempferol,
  4. Ursolic acid,
  5. Rutin,
  6. Beta-sitosterol, and
  7. Mangiferin.

1. Quercetin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory found in several botanical foods…

  • red wine,
  • onions,
  • Green tea,
  • apples,
  • berries,
  • Gingko Biloba
  • St. John’s wort
  • American elder, and
  • Buckwheat tea.

Besides Type 2 diabetes, Quercetin is used to treat…

  • heart and blood vessel disease,
  • high cholesterol,
  • hay fever,
  • stomach ulcers,
  • Schizophrenia,
  • inflammation,
  • asthma,
  • gout,
  • viral infections,
  • chronic fatigue,
  • prostate infection, and
  • cataracts.

It is also used for cancer prevention, endurance, and athletic performance.2. Oleanolic acid is a phytochemical or a molecule found in plants. Some foods containing Oleanolic acid include…

  • garlic,
  • honey mesquite,
  • java apple,
  • cloves,
  • raisins, and
  • olive oil.

Other maladies Oleanolic acid is used to treat include…

  • hepatitis,
  • wounds,
  • cancer,
  • inflammatory skin diseases, and
  • loss of memory.

3. Kaempferol is an antioxidant found in…

  • tea,
  • broccoli,
  • grapefruit,
  • cabbage,
  • kale,
  • beans,
  • endive,
  • leeks,
  • tomatoes,
  • grapes,
  • apples, and
  • berries.

Other conditions treated with Kaempferol include…

  • arteriosclerosis,
  • cell damage by oxidation,
  • cancer, and
  • skin disease

4. Ursolic acid is found in…

  • apples (skins),
  • basil,
  • bilberries,
  • cranberries,
  • peppermint,
  • rosemary,
  • lavender,
  • oregano,
  • thyme,
  • prunes, and
  • hawthorn.

Other conditions treated with ursolic acid include…

  • burns,
  • heart disease, and
  • skin cancer.

Some individuals use it to cut down on fat and improve their muscle mass.5. Rutin is a flavonoid, a molecule that gives some fruits their color. It is found in…

  • buckwheat,
  • citrus fruits,
  • apples,
  • figs,
  • tea, and
  • Elderflower tea.

Besides Type 2 diabetes Rutin is used to treat…

  • varicose veins,
  • internal bleeding, and
  • hemorrhoids.

6. Beta-sitosterol is one kind of plant hormone and an oxidant. It is found in…

  • soybean oil,
  • avocado oil, and
  • peanut oil.

Conditions treated by Beta-sitosterol, other than Type 2 diabetes include…

  • enlarged prostate,
  • symptoms associated with menopause,
  • to reduce pain and swelling after running,
  • help to lower cholesterol levels, and
  • lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

7. Mangiferin is used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and is found in mangos. Besides Type 2 diabetes mangiferin is used to treat…

  • pain from damaged nerves,
  • cancer,
  • inflammation,
  • Metabolic syndrome, and
  • abnormal blood fats.

Make sure you speak with your doctor before taking any natural products to help control your blood sugar. Natural products should not replace the standard diabetes treatment, as doing so can put your health at risk.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.


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