Herbal Treatments for Diabetes

The Big Diabetes Lie

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Dietary Interventions In Diabetes Mellitus

Dietary modifications can be a powerful tool for preventing and treating diabetes. If, for example, a clinician is treating a patient who is at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes before symptoms of hyperinsulinemia and or hyperglycemia become acute, this is an excellent opportunity to emphasize the potential benefit of cereal fiber. In a large prospective study of 65,173 females over six years, researchers looked for associations between the glycemic index of subjects' diets and their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.60 A glycemic index is an indication of a food's potential to raise blood glucose and the demand the food creates for insulin. Foods with a high glycemic index generally include items such as white bread, mashed potatoes, white rice, and cola beverages. More intermediate-range glycemic foods are items such as apples and orangejuice. Low-glycemic foods are generally those that maintain their natural unprocessed fibers, such as broccoli and peanut butter. In this...

Addressing Insulin Resistance

Consumption of lower-GI foods and physical fitness will contribute to decreased insulin secretion and resistance, respectively. For patients who receive treatment for this syndrome, insulin regulation is indicated. Borrowing from our knowledge of treating diabetes with natural medicines, many of the same treatment principles may be applied as part of this treatment regimen, including consumption of specific nutrients via diet or supplementation. The remainder of this chapter concentrates on supplementation and exercise.

Natural Approaches To The Prevention And Management Of Diabetes Mellitus

According to facts and figures provided by the American Diabetes Association, there are an estimated 20.8 million people in the United States, approximately 7 of the population, with diabetes. Approximately 6.2 million of these people have not yet been diagnosed. Additionally, there are 54 million Americans that are pre-diabetic with higher than normal blood glucose levels yet not elevated enough for the diabetes diagnosis.1 The hyperglycemia resulting from types I and II diabetes mellitus can lead to multiple challenges for the person with diabetes. Patients who are struggling to compensate for a lack of insulin secretion and or a lack of insulin efficiency face possible complications, such as retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, and atherosclerosis. At the core of preventing and dealing with diabetes mellitus is an understanding of how the body regulates the metabolism of its principal energy source, glucose, and how specific nutrients, diet modifications, and supportive botanical...

Inulin and Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which blood sugar is not properly taken up into cells. Thus, the level of glucose in the blood remains high. The uptake of glucose into the body's cells is controlled by the hormone insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is due to the pancreas failing to produce sufficient insulin. It is often caused by genetic factors. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes, or type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body's cells are unable to respond very efficiently to the insulin produced. It is associated with obesity, overnutrition, excess dietary fat and sugar, and other factors. Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 of all diabetes. Both types of diabetes are treated by the injection of insulin, which acts to reduce the blood glucose concentration by facilitating the uptake of glucose by the cells in type 1 diabetes, and by supplementing the body's insulin in type 2 diabetes. Over 18 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes (CDC, 2006), and over 170...

Coffee And Diabetes

As early as the 1970s, research has documented a link between increased coffee consumption and reduced plasma glucose levels.42 A study conducted in Japan demonstrated an inverse association between coffee drinking and the prevalence of fasting hyperglycemia.43 More recent studies have shown that coffee consumption protects women from the development of diabetes44 and further studies have shown that there is a statistically lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes with long-term coffee consumption.45 Studies conducted in Sweden showed that coffee consumption improved insulin sensitivity in elderly nondiabetic men46 and reduced the risk of both type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in men and women who drank five or more cups per day.47 What is especially interesting is the investigation into the role of coffee as a potential modulator of the expression of genetic factors that might impart a tendency toward developing diabetes. Twin studies have shown that, if one twin...

Antidiabetes Drugs

According to the American Diabetes Association 2005 statistics, approximately 7 of the U.S. population have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The organization estimates that 57 of adults who have diabetes take oral medication only and an additional 12 take insulin plus oral medication to manage the condition.36 Biguanides and sulfonylureas are oral medications used to treat diabetes and affect select nutrient levels adversely. Metformin, a frequently prescribed biguanide, has been shown to deplete vitamin B12 and folic acid. Studies indicate that long-term metformin therapy decreases serum vitamin B12 levels significantly. Additional studies suggest that short-term treatment with metformin increases homocysteine levels, and that B vitamins (e.g., folic acid) can moderate this response.37 More specifically, serum folic-acid levels have been shown to decrease by 7 , and vitamin B12 levels to decrease by 14 , with metformin therapy in individuals who have type 2 diabetes.38 Although limited,...

Biochemical Reactions To Stressors

The fight, fright, or flight response to stressors involves the catecholamines, substances that prepare the body for a call to immediate action and response, by causing short-term hyperglycemia. This rapid catabolism of blood glucose is the result of liver-glycogen storage breakdown and an increased rate of gluconeogenesis. Catecholamines can also liberate rapid stores of energy by catabolizing fat from adipose tissue stores. The stress adaptation phase primarily involves glucocorticoids, released by the adrenal cortex, that have a profound effect on energy metabolism and biologic functions. These substances raise blood-sugar levels, increase muscle-protein breakdown and hepatic gluconeogenesis, and mobilize fatty acids.11 Following normal diurnal patterns for the release of serum cortisol, glucocorticoid levels are at their lowest point at approximately midnight to 1 am. Peak levels occur between 6 am and 8 am. Research has shown that elevation or suppression of daily cortisol levels...

Coping Mechanisms For Stress And Disease

Inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1, interleukin-8, and TNF-alpha, are also elevated in hostile and depressed individuals.62 Additionally, suppressed anger is associated with increased carotid artery intima-media thickness and stiffness.63 Socioeconomic and psychosocial stressors are also associated with decreased post-stress recovery of systolic blood pressure to baseline.64 Studies have also shown that individuals with metabolic syndrome and high levels of hostility demonstrate a fourfold increase in the risk of having a myocardial infarction.65 Hostility, anger, and depression are correlated with increased insulin resistance and elevated fasting insulin and glucose in women.66 Researches also propose a correlation between perceived loss of control over one's environment as a risk factor for increased hypertension and cardiovascular disease.67

Preface to the Series

I always look forward to the journal HerbalGram (HG), of the American Botanical Council, which was founded by Mark Blumenthal in 1988. He continues as the Executive Director and as the Editor of HG. In it he regularly justifies the status of a medicinal plant and challenges official bodies when necessary. In HG Number 80 (2008), he tells the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rescind the 1991IMPORT ALERT on the herb stevia (Vol. 19 in this series) because the United Nations and the World Health Organization have concluded that stevia extract, containing 95 stevia glycosides, is safe for human use as a sweetening agent, in the range 4 mg kg body weight per day. This has paved the way for regulatory approval around the world for the use of this low-cost noncaloric material and notably for those obese persons facing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Children And Sleep Apnea

Insulin growth factor-1 and insulin growth factor-binding protein, both of which correlate with GH production, are lower in children with OSA. Other theories that explain the decrease in weight in children with OSA include anorexia or dysphagia caused by enlarged adenoids, and increased caloric use associated with increased respiratory effort. Children also tend to present with snoring, poor school performance, aggressiveness, and hyperactivity.5 One study showed that 33 of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder also had habitual nocturnal snoring.40 The most common cause of OSA in children is adenotonsillar hypertrophy. A study showed that 28 of children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy present with behavioral changes, such as hyperactivity.5

Etiology And Pathophysiology

Studies have found a greater frequency of certain traits and characteristics among parents of autistic than of healthy children. Greater maternal and paternal age are independently associated with an increased risk for ASD in offspring.7 Additionally, mothers who have allergies and asthma during the second trimester of pregnancy have a twofold greater than average risk of having a child with ASD. Although this same study found maternal psoriasis to be the only autoimmune disease associated with an increased risk for ASD,8 another study found a link between both maternal ulcerative colitis and paternal type 1 diabetes and increased risk for infantile autism.9

Introduction And Brief Bibliographic Review

Peptides and proteins define the phenotype of all organisms, in form and in function. By utilizing a multitude of peptides and proteins, normal physiology and pathogenic processes are realized. This chapter will focus on a certain subpart of the proteome, the smaller native endogenous peptides. This novel research area and the technologies utilized in general are referred to as peptidomics, a merger of the term peptide proteomics. For a general review on peptidomics, we refer to reference 1. No general accepted definition separates peptides from proteins, so we use as working hypothesis the term peptide for native polypeptide chains up to the range of 15 kDa, taking into account that others already refer to insulin (5.7 kDa) as a small protein. Currently there is little information available on peptidomics in plants. To cover this terra incognita of proteomics in this book, an overview shall be given about peptidomics in humans, and the basic rules and concepts are outlined which...

Separation Technology

About 20 years ago the vision existed to utilize huge amounts of human blood to isolate and identify novel peptide hormones. This concept was realized in form of a peptide bank from human blood filtrate, and over the years more than 700,000 L of this blood filtrate were collected, subfractionated in native peptide fractions, and used in many assay systems 5 . It quickly became clear that at least 100,000 peptides are regularly present in human blood and further work showed that also other sources are rich in peptides, with at least 5000 members per individual source. It is obvious that a combination of suitable technologies would be required to explore this large pool of peptides in living organisms. Given the relevance of bioactive peptides such as insulin, there was and still is quite some enthusiasm that the knowledge about native peptides is exceptionally useful in medical research. This view was supported by their involvement in key regulatory processes as outlined in Figure 7.1

Controlling Toxic Risk

Wellness is the state of existence that arises when health-sustaining homeostatic balance is gained and maintained. Individual and cumulative toxic exposures threaten this optimal homeostatic state. However, identifying and compensating for toxic exposure can minimize the detrimental effects of the exposure. General signs, symptoms, and risks that may indicate the presence of a high risk for toxic load include diabetes congestive heart failure obesity history of alcohol abuse psoriasis and other skin disorders heavy exposure to industrial or household chemicals frequent or recurrent use of medications use of hormonal therapy, including hormone replacements and oral contraceptives and disease states that alter liver, kidney, or GI functioning. Also, due to the sensitivity of the immune system, immunologic disorders may also be seen with toxic exposures such as autoimmune diseases, immune suppression, and chronic inflammation. The review below of the mechanisms of some of the most...

The Root Knot Nematode Larva at Hatch

Perception of the primary effectors (pheromone and food) by the amphids and presumably transmitted downstream by endocrine function. Genetic analysis in C. elegans identified 32 genes as dauer affecting (daf) (Riddle and Albert 1997) . and the molecular nature of 20 of these has been discerned, revealing a signaling pathway that is highly conserved across the animal kingdom, including humans (Wolcow et al. 2002) , and which assesses nutrient status and allocates energy resources to development, ageing and fat deposition (i.e., collectively the core of dauer function). C. briggsae encodes 19 of the 20 characterized C. elegans daf genes but lacks daf-28, which encodes the beta-insulin molecule involved in signal transduction. Recent whole genome sequencing of M. hapla (Opperman et al. in press Opperman et al. 2008) has revealed strong orthologs of 14 C. elegans daf genes and weak orthologs of three more. Like C. briggsae, M. hapla lacks an ortholog of daf-28. The molecular identities of...

Microbial Interactions with Caenorhabditis elegans Lessons from a Model Organism

Abstract In recent years, the study of invertebrate innate immune defense responses has been greatly expanded by the use of the powerful tractable model Caenorhabditis elegans. Because of the accessible mechanisms underpinning its innate immune system, the worm has become into a valuable model for identifying core strategies of microbial pathogenicity and host defense. C. elegans-microbial interaction studies have revealed a conservation of both pathogen virulence factors and metazoan immune repertoires. In C. elegans the signaling pathways involved in orchestrating immune responses are three mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38, JNK and ERK), the unfolded protein response (serine threonine kinase IRE-1 and PQN ABU proteins), the transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b), the insulin-like receptor (DAF-2), the Wnt Wingless b-catenin (BAR-1), and the component of programmed cell death BCL-2 homolog (CED-9). These pathways also serve major developmental, behavioral and metabolic functions....

AGEs and Cardiovascular Disease

AGE accumulation is associated with cardiovascular dysfunction and diseases such as atherosclerotic plaque formation, decrease in vascular and cardiac elasticity, endothelial dysfunction, and hypertension.10 More specifically, AGEs have been shown to quench nitric oxide (NO) which is an endothelium-derived relaxing factor in smooth muscle. Quenching NO impairs this relaxation and is associated with the pathology seen with hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.11 AGEs also interact with specific cell receptors, such as RAGE, leading to chronic activation of these receptors. Studies indicate that RAGE activation may lead to an increase in inflammatory markers and cellular injury.12

AGEs and Metabolic Syndrome

Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, increased inflammation, and insulin resistance. AGE accumulation and RAGE expression is correlated with the symptoms of this condition. A variant of RAGE known as endogenous secretory RAGE (esRAGE) is believed to be a decoy receptor for AGEs and increased levels of esRAGE have been shown to be protective in atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome. Additionally, esRAGE levels are inversely correlated with body mass index, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and triglycerides.13 (See Chapter 24 on metabolic syndrome.) AGEs are not the only cause of pathology related to diabetes. Glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity are important factors in the development and progression of diabetes. For example, hyperglycemia induces oxidative stress, which causes significant damage to proteins and lipids.14 Also, intracellular lipid accumulation disrupts kinases and other intracellular signaling pathways, leading to chronic inflammation. Furthermore,...

Basal Constitutive Response

In C. elegans, the DAF-2 DAF-16, the insulin-like signaling pathway regulates dauer formation, longevity, and the responses to environmental stressors and pathogens. It consists of the transmembrane tyrosine kinase insulin-like receptor DAF-2 and its downstream transducer DAF-16. The activation of this signaling cascade leads to the cytoplasmic retention of DAF-16, whereas its downregulation induces translocation of DAF-16 to the nucleus. In such circumstances, nuclear DAF-16 can activate the transcription of two classes of proteins (1) stress resistance proteins, which include those involved in detoxification (e.g. metallothioneins), oxidative stress (superoxidase dismutase, glutathione-S-transferase, catalase) and heat shock responses (2) the antimicrobial immune effectors (lysozymes, LYS-7, LYS-8, saposins, SSP-1, SSP-9, SSP-12, and thaumatins among others) (Lee et al. 2003 Murphy et al. 2003). DAF-16 can act as a transcriptional repressor or activator of gene expression (Shivers...

Molecular Classification of PI3K

Class-II PI3Ks are structurally distinct from the class I PI3Ks, and use only phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate as substrates. They are constitutively associated with membrane structures (including plasma and intracel-lular membranes) and with nuclei. Several lines of evidence suggest a potential role for these enzymes in agonist-mediated signal transduction (Foster et al. 2003), migration of cancer cells (Maffucci et al. 2005), suppression of apoptotic cell death (Kang et al. 2005), exocytosis (Meunier et al. 2005), pattern formation (MacDougall et al. 2004), cytoskeletal organization (Katso et al. 2006), and insulin signaling (Falasca et al. 2007).

Toxicological Profile

Acute toxicity of P. tuberosa has been evaluated by administering the extract once at doses ranging from 400, 800 and 1600 mg kg. Necropsy was performed on 10th day. Results reveal mild to moderate changes in liver and kidney. Significant alterations were observed only at 1600 mg kg dose. Evaluation of organ weights in various groups showed normal values. Leucocyte counts and haemoglobin values were within normal limits. The blood biochemistry consisting of blood sugar, total proteins and serum transaminase (GOT and GPT) showed normal values within the limits of variation at low doses. However, increase in GOT and GPT was observed at the highest dose. Biochemical analysis revealed no significant change in protein and glycogen contents in liver and kidney except that at 1600 mg kg dose, liver glycogen content was reduced significantly. No significant change was observed in acid and alkaline phosphatases activities in rats received 400 and 800 mg kg doses. However, at a dose of 1600 mg...

Botanical Treatments For Cataracts

The changes in normal pressure accommodation can ultimately lead to blindness and account for more than 150,000 cases per year. In many circumstances, the cause is unknown. In some cases, however, glaucoma is caused by an underlying pathologic condition that must be arrested. Therefore, it is important for people with glaucoma to be diagnosed by, and to remain under the care of, an ophthalmologist. Regular eye examinations are especially important for patients with high-risk profiles. These include patients with familial histories of the disorder, African-American patients (who have a four to six times higher incidence of glaucoma), patients with long-term metabolic disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus, thyroid-hormone dysre-gulation), patients who take high-dose oral corticosteroids for prolonged periods of time, patients with food sensitivities or allergies,28 or patients who are more than 40 years old.1

Androgens And Breast Cancer

A woman with elevated androgen levels is at a higher risk for developing breast cancer and other hormone-dependent diseases. Specific correlations with deleterious androgenic effects have been associated with increased levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate,3 androstenedione,4 and testosterone concentrations. However, the correlation of DHEA and breast cancer has not been substantiated in other research, and it appears that testosterone has an indirect effect on breast cancer risk, via its influence on the amount of bioavailable estrogen.5 Hyperandrogenism is associated with decreased SHBG, polycystic ovary syndrome, and insulin resistance.6 (See Chapter 29 on polycystic ovary syndrome.)

Fructose and Short Chain Fructans

The characteristic inulin biochemistry of Jerusalem artichoke makes it an excellent source of fructose. Fructose is the sweetest of the natural sugars its sweetness is around 16 greater than sucrose (Shallenberger, 1993). Fructose syrups are widely used by the food industry. They have a high solubility in water, fewer calories than sucrose, and are less viscous. With these properties, fructose has gained in importance within the food processing industry as a sweetener. It is an ideal sugar for use in reduced-calorie foods, foods for diabetics, and products to combat obesity. A range of fructose-containing products can be obtained from Jerusalem artichoke, including sugar solutions, pure fructose syrup, and crystalline fructose.

Complete Hydrolysis Fructose Syrups

Fructose syrups are widely utilized in the food industry in that they are sweeter than sucrose, thus allowing less sugar to be used to achieve a given level of sweetness (i.e., fructose is 1.2 times sweeter than sucrose on a weight basis (Shallenberger, 1993)). In addition, fructose metabolism in humans is not insulin dependent, and it produces less tooth decay than other sugars (Roch-Norlund et al., 1972). Currently, much of the fructose used by the food industry is produced from corn starch, a glucose polymer, via hydrolysis followed by isomerization. The fructose content is around 42 but can be increased to 95 by chromatographic separation of the residual glucose and further isomerization.

The Role of Receptor Kinases in BR Signaling

Examination of the completed genome sequences of Arabidopsis and rice reveals very large multigene families predicted to encode proteins with an organization of functional domains similar to that of animal receptor ki-nases, such as the mammalian insulin and epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases and the transforming growth factor P (TGF-P)receptor serine threonine kinases (Shiu et al. 2004). The three most prominent structural features of this class of proteins are a putative extracellular ligand-binding domain, a single-pass transmembrane sequence, and an intracellular cyto-plasmic domain consisting of a juxtamembrane region, a catalytic kinase domain with 12 conserved subdomains, and a short carboxy terminal region. Such structural features suggest a role for receptor kinases in extracellular signal perception followed by intracellular signal transduction via phospho-rylation of specific targets.

Adverse drug interactions

Could worsen autoimmune disease. Type 1 Diabetes. According to one estimate, only 20 of the plant flora has been screened for drugs. Keeping in view the vast treasure of medicinal herbs, one can expect phytochemicals to play a significant role as modern medical science has limited options for diseases like diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Work on the identification and isolation of phytochemicals is an ongoing process and phytomedicine is expected to play a critical role in the future of the healthcare system.

The Discovery Of Artemisinin

Several hundred years ahead of modern medicine, practitioners of TCM recorded the presence of a biological clock in human body, the diagnosis of diabetes, the function of hormones, described the circulation of the blood and the application of inoculation (Temple 1986). The discovery of artemisinin from a TCM herb is an excellent example of the contribution that TCM may make to modern medical science.

Isolation of NPABinding Proteins from A thaliana

NPA affinity chromatography in conjunction with aminopeptidase enzyme activity and flavonoid binding assays was recently used to identify NPA-binding protein complexes in detergent-resistant membrane microdomains from A. thaliana seedlings (Murphy et al., 2002). Consistent with NPA binding and hydrolysis studies conducted on whole seedlings and microsomes, NPA affinity chromatography identified both high- and low-affinity NPA binding fractions (Murphy et al., 2002). High-affinity NPA binding fractions were found to contain plant orthologs of mammalian multidrug-resistance (MDR) P-glycoproteins (PGPs) and smaller quantities of the glycosylphos-phatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored immunophilin, TWD1 (Murphy et al., 2002). MDR PGPs have been implicated in auxin transport in A. thaliana, maize, and sorghum (Geisler et al., 2003 Multani et al., 2003 Noh et al., 2001). Low-affinity NPA binding fractions were characterized by APM1, a member of the gluzincin dual function aminopeptidase protein...

Natural Supports For Gaining And Maintaining Muscle Mass

BODY COMPOSITION AND ITS EFFECTS ON MUSCLES Insulin Resistance Insulin resistance is a state in which the pancreas secretes increasingly higher levels of insulin to facilitate glucose uptake into skeletal, hepatic, and adipose tissue cells. Obesity, the most common cause of insulin resistance, is associated with a decreased number of receptors and with postreceptor failure to activate the tyrosine kinase. The beta subunitofthe insulin receptor is a tyrosine kinase, which is activated when insulin binds to the alpha subunit the kinase activity autophosphorylates and mediates multiple actions of insulin. Specific glucose receptors in muscle and adipose tissue are poorly responsive to high levels of insulin in the blood. Moderate weight loss has been shown to reduce insulin resistance. Hyperinsulinemia increases intracellular lipid accumulation, which, in turn, may increase insulin resistance. Insulin-resistant skeletal muscle has lower oxidative capacity and has decreased fatty-acid...

Whey Protein and Branched Chain Amino Acids

Whey is a by-product of cheese manufacturing. Whey contains lactose, minerals, and proteins such as alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, and lactoferrin. In addition, whey contains approximately 24 branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which have been shown to stimulate protein synthesis.17 Studies indicate that whey protein supplementation increases insulin sensitivity and decreases body weight in insulin-resistant rats.18 Research also shows an increase in satiety following a whey-protein meal compared to a meal containing casein protein.19 Side effects are rare with whey supplementation but may include fatigue, nausea, increased stool frequency, headaches, and thirst.17 Whey protein should be avoided in individuals with dairy allergies and may decrease absorption of some medications.20 BCAAs are essential amino acids including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids play multiple roles in protein metabolism. Specifically, leucine has been shown to signal protein...

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is commonly found in beef and dairy products. Many studies have indicated that CLA improves body composition. CLA has been shown to decrease the size and possibly the number of adipocytes.34,35 Animal studies indicate that CLA consumption causes increased apoptosis in adipose tissue.36,37 CLA supplementation has been shown to decrease body fat mass, decrease hunger, and increase a feeling of fullness.38,39 CLA exists in multiple isomers. Animal and human studies on the trans-10, cis-12 isomer indicate that it can increase insulin resistance and glycemia, and may decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. However, most CLA supplements are combinations of the two isomers, and studies on combination isomer products have not demonstrated increased insulin resistance.40 Animal studies have indicated that CLA combination isomer products actually improve insulin sensitivity.41 Side effects of CLA may include GI upsets, diarrhea, loose stools, and nausea.

Processing and Products

The global goal for soybean processing and utilization is to strengthen the development of new food, feed, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and industrial products, including co-products and ingredients for speciality applications. As of now, soybean derivatives are gaining importance not only in nutritious food products, but also as sources of phytochemicals and nutraceuticals to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes and so on. The emphasis in the non-food or industrial products markets is on biodegradable adhesives, plastics, coatings, inks, lubricants, biodiesel and more.

Dehydroepiandrosterone

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is synthesized in the adrenal glands, liver, testes, and brain. This substance is converted to androstenedione, which is the precursor to other androgens, and improves insulin sensitivity. DHEA levels begin declining at approximately age 25. Studies have indicated that DHEA supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and decreases both subcutaneous and visceral fat.56 Specifically, animal studies have shown that DHEA decreases both body weight and the cytokine TNF-alpha, which is implicated in causing insulin resistance.57 A six-month study on adults showed that DHEA supplementation at 100 mg per day increased IGF-1. However, only the male subjects had decreased fat-body mass and increased muscle strength. Women had increases in total-body mass and had androgen levels that were above normal. No changes were seen in cortisol levels, lipid profiles, glucose levels, fasting insulin levels, bone-mineral density, or basal metabolic rates.58

Targeting to the Recycling Endosome

Rab11A, and its close relatives Rab11B and Rab25, have been shown to regulate recycling pathways for a number of cellular processes in animal cells, including polarized epithelial transport, and the insulin-dependent delivery of the GLUT4 glucose-transporter to the plasma membranes of fat cells (Cox et al. 2000 Wang et al. 2000 Wilcke et al. 2000). In addition, in these cells many of the proteins that cycle between the plasma membrane and internal compartments accumulate in the recycling endosome due to the slow rates of sorting and exit from these compartments (Maxfield and McGraw 2004). Even in animal systems, precise identification of sorting determinants and characterization of vesicle transport intermediates leading to and from these compartments remains poorly understood. In part, the lack of understanding

Naturopathic Approach To Treating Pain

Most importantly, from the perspective of removing the cause, physicians perhaps do their greatest service by altering the course of a person's health away from a protracted period of pain and concomitant disability. The first intervention involves setting a course for healing the tissues that are the source of the pain. Removing dietary perils that prevent the body from being in its optimum state of health includes limiting refined carbohydrates and optimizing protein, micronutrient, and fatty-acid intakes. Excess carbohydrate intake exerts a negative effect on insulin metabolism, provoking weight gain and the inflammatory cascade. Insufficient protein intake, at levels less than 30 of the recommended daily allowance (0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight per day), may limit repair and regeneration. An excess of foods that contain arachidonic acid, a long-chain omega-6 fatty acid, is a known promoter of inflammation,

Regulating the Extent of Growth PDK1TORS6K Constitute a Signaling Module

TOR (target of rapamicin) is a conserved integrator of several growth inputs, including nutrients, energy levels, stress, and growth factors, and TOR channels these signals to downstream effectors to positively or negatively influence cellular growth and proliferation in yeasts, animals, and plants (Diaz-Troya et al. 2008 Ma and Blenis 2009 Wullschleger et al. 2006). The ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K) is a major known downstream effector of TOR to regulate growth. The canonical substrate for S6K is the ribosomal protein S6 (RPS6), one of the components of the small 40S ribosome subunit. Surprisingly, the knock out of S6K1 and S6K2 or mutation of S6K phosphorylation target sites on RPS6 resulted in a drastic reduction of size in mice cells, but protein synthesis was not downregulated, indicating that S6K phosphorylation on RPS6 might regulate cell size checkpoint control, whereas protein translation would probably depend on other S6K and TOR targets (Meyuhas 2008 Pende et al. 2004...

Some Chemical Rules for Enzymatic Reactions

In addition, some elements are essential for (almost) all organisms but may have different functions in them (e.g., Mo). Biochemical processes - including all those catalyzed by metal ions - take place within some polymeric matrix (the proteom) which mainly consists of chiral monomer components. Augmented by sterical effects, the reactions taking place in such media are very highly enantioselective. As a result, for catalyzing identical transformations of different enantiomers or diastereomers of the same substrate (e.g. D- and L-lactate or the set of hexose sugars) different, multiple enzymes are required (e.g., for metabolism of glucose in animals and man insulin is required but not for that of its enantiomer mannose or of the diastereomeric fructose). D-amino acids (other than methionine) in cell walls form an obstacle towards attack by bacteria. Therefore, though a counting of similar functions due to one biocatalyst is required for SNA (chapters 2.2.8, 2.2.9), one tends to...

Nutrients And Herbal Interventions

Several herbal and nutrient interventions are recommended because of the complexity of this condition. Some therapies can improve ovulation and insulin sensitivity and reduce hyper-androgenism. (See Table 29-1 below.) Chromium is a trace element commonly used for blood-sugar balancing. Chromium in the trivalent form is found in many foods such as whole-grain products, egg yolks, coffee, nuts, brewer's yeast, meat, green beans, and broccoli. Chromium deficiency often presents with impaired glucose, insulin, and lipid metabolism. Research has demonstrated that chromium supplementation reduces glucose intolerance and relieves symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as those of gestational diabetes.47 The proposed mechanism of action for the insulin response to chromium is focused on the insulin receptor. Chromium activates the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase and inhibits the insulin receptor phosphotyrosine phosphatase enzyme. This causes increased phosphorylation of the insulin...

Breeding for low lectin content

Lectins are proteinaceous antinutritional factors with a concentration range of 2.2-4.0 g kg-1 of soybean seed. They bind to the carbohydrate moiety of glyco-conjugates, which constitute about 11 of the human body, without affecting the covalent bond. One such lectin from soybean, soybean aggluti-nin, causes the clumping of human erythrocytes, which have N-acetyl D-galactose as an antigen in the human gut. Lectins are known to reduce natural killer cells, decrease blood insulin levels, enlarge the pancreas and interfere in the absorption of nonheme iron. Although they can be inactivated by moist heat treatment, N-acetyl D-galactose present in the food protects them from inactivation during processing (Yukiko et al., 1999). Therefore, the identification of soybean genotypes with null or a reduced lectin content is important to improve the nutritional value of soybean. Pull et al. (1978) identified a null allele for lectin content, which was found to have an insertion of 35 kb in the...

Pharmacological Properties Of Qa

Modern medicine is declining and restricted. The utilization of sparteine as a uterus contracting drug has been abandoned for the same reasons. Sparteine, lupanine and 13-hydroxylupanine have hypotensive and CNS-depressant properties and furthermore, are hypoglycemic and, thus, might be interesting antidiabetic drugs. In addition to QA, the alkaloid-free fraction of L. albus seeds seems to have antidiabetic activities. Matrine and cytisine are amoebicidal matrine and 17-oxolupanine are effective inflammatory compounds. Some of these pharmacological properties can be explained through activation of the acetylcholine receptors and inhibition of K+ and Na+ -channels.48,52

RC Martin1 PP Liu2 and H Nonogaki2

MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small 21 nucleotide regulatory molecules, were first discovered during developmental studies on Caenorhabditis elegans (Maupas) Dougherty and were found to be important in regulating the timing of larval development (Lee et al., 1993). Recently there has been an explosion in research related to miRNAs. They have been found to be important in the regulation of developmental processes in a wide variety of animals and plants (reviewed by Ambros, 2004 Kidner and Martienssen, 2005). miRNAs are involved in diverse processes such as glucose-mediated insulin secretion (Poy et al., 2004), brain morphogenesis (Giraldez et al., 2005), cancer (Calin et al., 2004 Gregory and Shiekhattar, 2005), as well as plant responses to dehydration, salinity, cold, gibberellic acid (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA) (Achard et al., 2004 Sunkar and Zhu, 2004).

South And Central America

An infusion of the leaf of this plant, known as 'core-core', is used in Chile by the Mapuche Amerindians to treat cataract, shock and fever. The root, considered astringent, was used to treat toothache and the whole plant used as an antiinflammatory agent (Rodriguez etal., 1994). It is not normally used for diabetes, but the hypoglycaemic effects of an extract of the whole plant was assessed in normoglycaemic and alloxan diabetic rats and the activity found to be significant, but less than that produced by tolbutamide (Rodriguez etal., 1994).

Coffeefunctional Food And Medicinal Herb

Noteworthy is that this discussion focuses on the benefits of coffee from a botanical perspective. The social use of coffee in its modified forms latte or ''mocha,'' where dairy and sugary flavors are added, are clear sources of empty calories. For diabetics and weight management many a clinician will find in discussion with their patients that indeed an enlarging waistline, reactive hypoglycemia, and increased blood sugars do not implicate coffee, but the chosen delivery of this therapeutic food ''a la empty calories.''

Coffee And Cardiovascular Disease

Other studies have shown that regular coffee intake has the potential to decrease the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation and decrease malondialdehyde levels.33 Further research has examined the ability of caffeine (250 mg two times per day) to lower the incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with type 1 diabetes, demonstrating a positive effect.34

Additional Medicinal Mushrooms

Tremella (Tremella fuciformis, Tremella mesenterica, Tremella aurantia). Tremella species have shown hypoglycemic and immune-modulating activity. Oral supplementation with a polysaccharide extract from T. aurantia showed significantly lowered levels of insulin, total-cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoperoxide levels in genetically non-insulin-dependent diabetic mice.61 Oral supplementation with T. aurantia has also been shown to suppress plasma testosterone levels in normal rats.62 Additionally, constituents isolated from T. fuciformis have been shown to induce human monocytes to produce interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in vitro.63 Auricularia (Auricularia auricular). Auricularia has been shown to exhibit hypoglycemic, anticoagulant, and antioxidant activity. A study with diabetic mice showed that supplementation with a constituent from Auricularia had a significantly lowered plasma glucose, insulin, urinary glucose, and food intake and...

Nitric Oxide A Powerful Clinical Therapy

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that has significant effects on many physiologic processes in the body. This gas plays a role in inflammation, the immune response, and neurotransmission in the brain, as well as in the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Dysfunction in the NO pathway is associated with many diseases. Conditions such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, and stroke are correlated with NO pathology. Current research suggests that manipulation of NO activity may have profound effects on overall health. Many pharmaceuticals as well as nutrients, supplements, and diet are being investigated and prescribed to modulate NO activity.

When There Is Not Enough No

Because of their physiologic effects on the body, manipulation of NO levels can provide avenues for health modification. Cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, hypertension, and CAD can be attenuated by increases in NO synthesis and activity. Anemia, cancer, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction can also be ameliorated by NO manipulation. Both natural therapies and pharmaceuticals can augment NO bioavailability. NO and Diabetes Individuals with diabetes are more vulnerable to oxidative stress, leading to an increase in superoxide anions and a subsequent decrease in NO bioavailability.20 Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is impaired in individuals with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Many explanations have been suggested for this impairment, including abnormalities in substrate availability or signal transduction, release of endothelium-derived relaxing factors, destruction of endothe-lium-derived relaxing factors, decreased sensitivity of the vascular smooth muscle...

Applications of modified levels of plant PDglucans

Officinarum), while numerous forage and fodder grass species support the production of sheep, cattle and other domesticated livestock. Maize (Zea mays) is also used widely for animal feed, while switchgrass (Panicum virga-tum) and other perennial grasses are showing considerable promise as future biomass energy crops in North America (McLaren 2005 Burton et al. 2006 ). In the areas of human health, the (1,3 1,4)-P -d- glucans are components of dietary fibre that are highly beneficial in the prevention and treatment of serious human health conditions, including colorectal cancer, high serum cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, obesity, and non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes (Brennan & Cleary 2005). In contrast, (1,3 1,4)-P-d-glucans have antinutritive effects in monogastric animals such as pigs and poultry (Brennan & Cleary 2005), and are important in many cereal processing applications, including malting and brewing. In most of these applications, the key property of the...

Ethnopharmacology

A flavonoid fraction extracted from the bark of P. marsupium was studied for the hypoglycemic activity on normal and alloxanized albino rats. The flavonoid fraction did not show a consistent effect on normal blood sugar levels but it effectively reversed the alloxan-induced changes in the blood sugar level and the beta-cell population in the pancreas. The flavonoid fraction also showed a protective effect when it was given prior to alloxan administration. 3. Protective effects of the methanolic extract of P. marsupium heartwood were evaluated on NIDDM-induced rat gastric ulceration and mucosal offensive and defensive factors. NIDDM was produced in 5-d-old rat puppies by administering streptozotocin (70 mg kg, i.p). The animals showing blood glucose level > 140 mg dl after 12 wk of STZ administration were considered as NIDDM positive rats. P. marsupium (750 mg kg) decreased the blood sugar level both in normal and NIDDM rats. 4. A study investigated the influence of methanolic...

Strategies for Preventing Metabolic Syndrome

Increased fiber intake is associated with decreased insulin resistance. Reduce saturated fat intake to reduce insulin resistance. Increased consumption of vegetables with carotenoids is associated with decreased fasting insulin. Exercise prevents and reverses insulin resistance. Stress reduction reduces insulin resistance. Magnesium produces favorable changes in insulin sensitivity. Chromium produces favorable changes in insulin sensitivity. a-lipoic acid exerts antioxidative effects and improves insulin resistance. Inula racemosa produces favorable changes in insulin sensitivity and blood glucose Gymnema sylvestre produces favorable changes in insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels. Therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing the morbidity of the four factors that comprise metabolic syndrome are currently widely available. Today, weight loss, physical activity, and treatment of the individual risk factors are the main approaches. In the meantime, research efforts focus on...

Ill Plants containing hypoglycaemic organic sulphur compounds

With APDS, blood glucose and glycosuria were significantly decreased in alloxan-diabetic rabbits and glucose tolerance was also improved. In a 4-h test in fasting human subjects APDS caused a marked fall of blood sugar (hourly controls) plus an increase of serum insulin levels, whilst the free fatty acid levels remained the same. In a control trial there was no fall of blood glucose, but the serum insulin levels decreased and the free fatty acid levels increased considerably. The authors (Augusti and Benaim, 1974 Augusti, 1976a, b) explain these results as follows. Insulin is a disulphide protein and its inactivation by compounds and albumins rich in SH groups has been established. APDS probably removes insulin-inactivating compounds by competing with insulin for the SH group(s) in these compounds, thus producing an insulin-sparing effect and preventing the increase of free fatty acids on fasting. In clinical trials, 100 mg allicin per kg body weight produced a significant drop in...

The bean with an ideal ratio of n6 to n3

Apart from rapeseed (Brassica species) and canola (Brassica campestris) oil, soybean oil is the important source of a-linolenic acid (n-3), an omega-3 fatty acid, for vegetarians, among various vegetable oils available on the global market. The dietary intake of linoleic and linolenic acid needs to be well balanced and the ratio of n-6 n-3 should be around 5 1 this is near to human cell membranes, as indicated in a clinical study (Chan et al., 1993). An imbalance in the n-6 n-3 ratio has been suggested as a cause of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, CVD and osteoporosis (Simopoulos et al.,

Salacia reticulata Wight

A study reported that lipase inhibitory and lipolytic activities have mild antiobesity effects of hot water-soluble extract from the roots of S. reticulata and its polyphenolic constituents in rats. A randomized single center double blind crossover trial, studied the efficacy of an herbal tea containing S. reticulata (Kothala Himbutu tea) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fifty-one patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus for longer than 6 mon and with evidence of stable glycemic control over the preceding 6 mon (as assessed by HbA1C) participated in the study. They were randomized to receive a standard preparation of Kothala Himbutu tea for 3 mon followed by placebo in similar tea bags for a further 3 mon (n 28) or in reverse order (n 23). All patients received detailed advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle modification. HbA1C was measured at recruitment, at 3 mon and on completion of the study at 6 mon. Liver and renal functions were assessed biochemically at baseline, at 3...

Oral hypoglycaemic action

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the 3-cells of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, is of utmost importance for the correct metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It induces the oxidative breakdown of glucose, has a stimulating effect on the synthesis of liver glycogen from glucose and inhibits the formation of liver glycogen from protein and fat. Diabetes, a condition characterized by hyperglycaemia, is caused by insufficient secretion of insulin or to insufficiency of its peripheral efficacy. Excess of insulin leads to hypoglycaemia this is easily counteracted if dextrose or a few lumps of sugar are taken at once. Modern investigations into the biochemistry of diabetes show that its causes and the sites of intervention in the biochemical processes are diverse. Somatostatin, the pituitary and sex hormones, corticosteroids, prostaglandins and vascular modifications of the pancreas can all be involved, together with a straightforward inadequacy in insulin production (Randle et al.,...

Mechanism of action of hypoglycaemic plants

The plant constituents which have a hypoglycaemic action act in various ways. We have seen that plants rich in organic sulphides seem to remove insulin-inactivating compounds through their SH groups by competing with insulin, which is a disulphide protein, for the SH groups in these inactivating compounds. Similarly, nicotinic acid is known to be an insulinase inhibitor (Ben David et al., 1963). We have also seen that anthocyanosides appear to act by improving the vascularization of the pancreas. Insulin is fixed on proteins at the surface of the cells, thus cellular membranes play an important part in diabetes. Vascular troubles develop gradually during the course of the disease, entailing a thickening of the basal membrane of the walls of the small blood vessels and an increase of their permeability (Osuntokun, 1975). Anthocyanosides have been found to inhibit or slow down these changes in the capillary walls, especially in the early stages of the disease. Thus the improvement in a...

Reference Of Githens 1949 Tannin

Medicinal Plants For Diabetes

IV Hypoglycaemic plants containing anthocyanins, catechols or flavonoids, or their glycosides and or tannins (See Table 7.4) In diabetic patients the basal membrane of the small blood vessels, which has an important metabolic function, is thickened (by an accumulation of glycoproteins), thus causing a disturbance of metabolic exchange. Also, the capillary wall becomes permeable (diabetic angiopathy). It has been shown that Vaccinium anthocyanosides can inhibit or slow down this evolution of the capillary walls particularly at the onset of the diabetic disease process. Treatment over 6 months (a starting dose of 600 mg per day) reduces the number of affected capillaries from 34 to 24 and the average surface of glycoprotein accumulation from 14 to 8 (im (Pourrat, 1977 Pourrat et al., 1977,1978). The active constituent of Euopean Vaccinium myrtillus berries has proved to be a glycoside of 7-methyl-delphinidin and the traditional use of the berries in the treatment of diabetes in Europe...

Properties And Indications Of Ge Gen In Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ge Gen is an herb with pungent and cold properties and hence, according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, it belongs to a group of medicinal materials that cure heat and warm symptoms and disperse pathogenic factors from the superficies of the body and relieve exterior syndromes. According to Chinese medical theory, exterior symptoms appear when the exogenous causes of diseases invade the body and lodge in the superficies. The main function of Ge Gen is to dispel pathogenic factors from the superficial muscles to allay fever, headache and stiffness of the nape. It also promotes the rash of measles to surface to hasten recovery from measles with incomplete eruption of the rash. In addition, Ge Gen also promotes production of body fluid to alleviate thirst and diabetes. It is also used to arrest diarrhea in acute dysentery and diarrhea (Zhu, 1998). For cold or flu with headache, neck stiffness and pain, Ge Gen is often used with Gui Zhi (Caulis cinnamomi) and other...

Phytochemicals of Cinnamomum zeylanicum L cinnamon

Recent studies have found that cinnamon may have a beneficial effect on blood sugar. Sixty people with type 2 diabetes took 1, 3, or 6 grams of cinnamon in pill form daily, an amount roughly equivalent to one quarter of a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Another study looked at the effect of cinnamon on 79 people with type 2 diabetes who were not on insulin therapy but were taking oral anti-diabetic medications or modifying their diet. They took approximately 3 grams of cinnamon or a placebo 3 times a day for 4 mon. There was a significant reduction in blood glucose in the people taking cinnamon compared to people taking the placebo. Surprisingly, there was no difference in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, a test that measures how well blood sugar has been controlled during the previous 3 to 4 mon. Coumarin compounds are considered to be active constituents of cinnamon.

Sexhormone Binding Globulin

Levels of sex-hormone binding globulin, as previously mentioned, play a role in numerous conditions. Low levels are associated with hormone-related conditions such as breast cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, and insulin resistance. Furthermore, decreased levels of this protein are associated with cardiovascular risk factors as well. A recent study showed that low SHBG is significantly associated with metabolic syndrome, increased triglycerides, and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in men and women. In women, decreased SHBG was also associated with elevated apolipoprotein B and diabetes.10 SHBG has also been shown to inhibit the estradiol-induced proliferation of breast cancer cells.11 Chronic hyperinsulinemia is intimately linked to diet, lifestyle, and the development of a hormonal profile that correlates with increased breast cancer and hormone-related disease risk. What is noteworthy is the ability of insulin to inhibit hepatic synthesis of SBHG and enhance ovarian...

Soy in Weight Management and Cosmetics

Obesity has become an important issue in some parts of the world as it leads to development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and CVD, with care costing a large part of the national health-care budget of the countries such as the UK and the USA. Studies have shown that a soy diet results in weight loss in women (Cope et al., 2007 Maskarinec et al., 2008). The weight-reducing property of soybean has been attributed to the low glycemic index (Blair et al., 2006) and high calcium concentration (Lukaszuk et al., 2007) present in soy foods. Furthermore, soy protein has been reported to regulate insulin levels by stimulating the adiponectin (Lihn et al., 2005) and activating the peroxisome-proliferator activated receptors (Morifuji et al., 2006). This may impact obesity, as a high concentration of insulin has been found to be a major cause of obesity.

Quality issues with echinacea products

The extensive range of conditions for which the Eclectics prescribed Echinacea is summarized in Table 14.1. It is clear from this table that the limitations on Echinacea suggested by modern writers are not supported. The conditions in the table are mainly infections and envenomations of various kinds (which clearly attest to Echinacea's influence on the immune system). However, the inclusion of tuberculosis and disorders related to autoimmunity such as diabetes, exophthalmic goiter, psoriasis, and renal hemorrhage contrasts with the contraindications suggested by some modern writers.

Justicia adhatoda Linn Nees

(b) xh kg of fresh roots is cleaned and washed 2-3 times with water and cut into small 1-2-in. pieces then they are boiled in 5-6 cups (1,500 mL) of water for 20-25 min. When 2 cups (500 mL) of water is left, it is filtered with a piece of cloth. Next, 5-6 g of alum (patkhri) is added and again boiled for 4-5 min to remove dirty froth. Then it is chilled and stored in a glass bottle given to patients suffering from cough, asthma, diabetes, gas trouble, and blood diseases. For children, 1-2 tsp (6-12 mL) of this decoction is mixed with 1 cup (250 mL) of water (at one time) and given once or twice daily for 5-7 days. For adults, 3-4 tsp (15-25 mL) of this decoction is mixed with dysentery, diarrhea, phlegm, jaundice, diabetes, mouth sores, toothaches, and tuberculosis and to purify blood.

Production of Novel Carbohydrates in Transgenic Plants

From a biotechnological viewpoint, interest in fructans has continued to increase as they have been recognised as beneficial food ingredients. As part of the human diet, they are considered to be prebiotics as they selectively promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Furthermore, fructans are assumed to have anti-cancer activity, promote mineral absorption, decrease cholesterol levels and decrease insulin levels. Fructans are normally isolated from plants with low agronomic value, such as the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) and chicory. Thus, attempts have been made to produce transgenic plants with higher fructan yield or making fructans with specific properties. Transformation of sugar beet with an SST gene from Jerusalem artichoke resulted in the conversion of 90 of the vacuolar sucrose into fructan (Sevenier et al., 1998) since the sugar beet accumulates to concentrations approaching 600 mM sucrose, this represents a massive fructan yield. Weyens et al....

Risk Factors For Cardiovascular Diseases

There are several factors that increase the risk of developing CVD. These risk factors may be nonmodifiable, such as a family history of cardiovascular disease, race (black, aborginal), and age.1,3,19 However, many of the risk factors for heart attack and stroke are indeed modifiable with changes in behavior, drugs, or diet. Eighty percent of the Canadian population has at least one modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.3 Smoking is the single most important cause of preventable illness and premature death for Canadians.3 Other risk factors that can be controlled are diabetes and obesity (or metabolic syndrome20,21), sedentary lifestyles, stress, hypertension,3,10 and dyslipidemia.3,8 Thus, the incidence of cardiovascular disease can be attenuated by increases in physical activity, smoking cessation, controlling diabetes with insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents, controlling hypertension with various antihypertensive drugs, cholesterol-lowering therapy with drugs, and...

Natural Treatments For Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X or cardiovascular metabolic syndrome, is comprised of hyperlipidemia (elevated triglycerides and low levels of high-density lipoprotein HDL cholesterol), central (abdominal) obesity, hypertension, and concomitant insulin re-sistance glucose intolerance. Although no specific cause-and-effect relationship has been established, the outcomes of these associative factors are significantly increased risks for developing diabetes and heart disease. Eric S. Freedland, M.D., a senior editor of Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders1 based in Boston, Massachusetts, notes that the escalating worldwide epidemic of metabolic syndrome affects each of us either directly or indirectly. It demands multidisciplinary efforts and cooperation to e nsure better understanding of its causes and to develop effective approaches to preventing and treating its associated conditions.'' Using a sample of 3,477 Mexican-American, 3,305 African-American, and 5,581...

Doses of Salacia based preparations

All the three species of Salacia have demonstrated alpha-glucosidase inhibiting activity like acarbose, with salacinol and kotalanol, as possible active principles. These studies have provided insights into potential protective and anti-obesity roles of Salacia species also. Some animal studies have demonstrated that Salacia might have antidiabetic action like conventional PPAR-gamma activators. Clinical trials have also reported efficacy of Salacia species in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Toxicity data shows this herb is devoid of genotoxic and teratogenic effect but it should be avoided during pregnancy.

Adhesion Requires Integrins Rac and

The cell membrane (Hall 1998 Rickert et al. 2000 Chung et al. 2001). The signaling events downstream of Rac are less clear. Some research suggests that Rac is bound to the amino terminus of insulin receptor tyrosine kinase substrate p53 (IRSp53), which is then bound via a carboxy-terminal Src-homology-3 domain to WAVE2 (also called suppressor of cAMP receptor, SCAR Bear et al. 1998), to form a trimolecular complex (Miki et al. 2000). WAVE2 is a ubiquitously expressed member of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family (Suetsugu et al. 1999), which activates the actin-related protein (Arp)2 3 complex that regulates lamellipodia extension, as also occurs in phagocytosis (Snapper et al. 2001). Other studies, however, have shown that IRSp53 is not needed for Rac activation of WAVE in vivo, and that Rac activates WAVE2 via a different signal transduction cascade. Specifically, Rac appears to bind to Sra-1, which is bound to Nap. Nap then activates Abi (Abl interactor), which binds...

Pomegranate Vascular Remodeling

The pomegranate's medicinal qualities have been known for thousands of years. References in the Bible and Roman mythology mention the tree's unique healing powers, and some Middle Eastern, Asian, and South American people still chew its bark, petals, and peel to treat conditions as diverse as dysentery and diseases of the mouth and gums.1 Modern research has shown that the pomegranate contains polyphenols and anthocyanidins that are powerful free-radical scavengers and are more effective against disease than are those in red wine and green tea.2 It is widely used in traditional medicine to cure inflammation, diabetes, cardiac disease, AIDS, ischemia, and cancer (Figure 6.1). On this basis, the possible anticarcinogenic effects of the pomegranate have been further explored. For example, the application of pomegranate extract to the skin of mice before they were exposed to a carcinogenic agent was shown to inhibit the appearance of erythemas and hyperplasia and the activity of...

Current research on dietary phytochemicals

Research shows that fruits and vegetables are powerful defenders of our health. Research supporting a critical role for fruits and vegetables in good health grows stronger all the time. Scientists now agree that fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of a healthy diet. Phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables can also help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases including cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other diseases.

Nutraceuticallaboratory Test Interactions

Antioxidant prevent diabetes, retinopathy, cataracts, or glaucoma support patients with HIV, Wilson's disease, or lactic acidosis resulting from altered metabolism Support patients with high cholesterol, cancer, HIV, diabetes, allergies, and other conditions Promote bone health treat OA enhance mental functioning increase muscle mass, (illustrates benefits of using trace minerals therapeutically) Support patients with OA and other joint conditions, including TMJ disease Blood glucose may lower serum glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and enhanced glucose utilization Glycosylated hemoglobin may decrease T-helper T-suppressor ratio improves ratio of T-helper cells relative to T-suppressor cells HDL lowers HDL levels Estrone, estradiol, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone elevates estrone, free testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol levels Nandrolone urine tests positive for nandrolone marker because of contamination with...

Nutritional and Economic Benefits

Soybean, being rich in protein and calories, has a great potential to tackle the problem of protein-calorie malnutrition from which many people in India and other developing countries suffer. Soybean contains twice as much protein as pulses, groundnut, meat and fish three times as much as eggs and more than ten times that of milk. In addition, soybean is the most economical source of dietary protein in the world and is superior to other plant proteins. Soybean does not contain lactose. Hence, soy milk and other dairy analogues are best suited to lactose-intolerant people. Soybean is also a very good food source for those with diabetes. Overall, soybean is an environment-friendly crop that is needed for better global health. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a health claim stating that 25 g of soy protein in a daily diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help reduce total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (FDA, 1999). Various research studies undertaken the...

Proteolytic processing of prohormones

Insulin was the first hormone found to be derived from a precursor (Steiner & Oyer, 1966). Later discoveries revealed that multiple peptide hormones can be produced from a common precursor (Mains et al., 1977). Only 15 years ago the first prohormone processing enzyme (Kex2) was identified in yeast (Fuller et al., 1989). It is now known that peptide signals are generally synthesized as larger inactive precursors that undergo limited proteolysis to yield active peptide signals. Such proteolytic processing is one of many mechanisms that regulate activity of peptide hormones.

The Effects Of Aloe Vera Gel On Wound Healing

Reticulum of all nucleated cells (Tizard etal., 1989). Optimal nutrition is required for the growth, regulation, reproduction, defense, regeneration and repair during wound healing. In addition, saccharides such as mannose are essential in the golgi apparatus of all cells to complete synthesis of all structural and functional molecules (Campbell etal, 1997). Lastly, the mannose-6-phosphate of Aloe vera has been shown to activate the insulin-like growth factor receptor of the fibroblast, stimulating it to increase collagen and proteoglycan synthesis (Danhoff and McAnalley, 1987). This activity has been shown to increase wound tensile strength (Davis etal, 1994a Davis etal, 1994b).

In Design And Function During Evolution

Starch Synthesis Plants

According to Cerda et al. 140 , when ingested in small amounts, galactomannan is capable to form an unstirred water layer within the large intestine, which has been suggested to inhibit absorption of cholesterol and glucose by humans. Some authors report that cholesterol absorption can be decreased by 10-15 if the diet is complemented with galactomannan and on this basis propose that galactomannan could be used therapeutically in patients who are not dependent on insulin 141 ,

Phytochemical and Nutritional Prevention and Treatment

The American Heart Association (AHA) identifies increasing age, male gender, and heredity as uncontrollable risk factors for heart disease. Tobacco smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity overweight, and diabetes are modifiable risk factors for heart disease. Other negative risk factors identified by the AHA as contributory to heart disease include stress levels and responses, sex hormones, birth control pills, and excessive alcohol intake.3 Despite the acknowledgment of this problem and intense educational efforts in this country to make people aware of CVD, large numbers of people are continually diagnosed each year in this country and the in rest of the world.

Prevention And Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Preliminary evidence points to the influence of free-radical formation and the development and progression of many forms of retinopathy.56 Antioxidant formulas have long been the frontline defense in preventing and managing retinopathy. With properties that include free-radical scavenging, preventing protein glycosylation, and decreasing capillary permeability and fragility, it is no wonder that vitamin C is chief among these therapies.57-60 Vitamin E, also a potent intracellular antioxidant, is considered to be effective, at a level of 1,200 international units (IU) per day or more, for preventing and treating similar conditions.61 Vitamins C and E have been shown, in limited investigations, to be present in lower levels in patients with diabetes compared to healthy controls.62,63 In addition, vitamin E has been shown to protect people with very high cholesterol levels from developing retinopathy.64 A combination of 500 mcg of selenium, 800 IU of vitamin E, 10,000 IU of vitamin A,...

Blood Lipids and Heart Disease

Inulins and fructooligosaccharides help maintain the health of the cardiovascular system and may reduce the risk of heart disease. A key factor in this is the maintenance or improvement of blood lipid composition, through decreases in triglycerides (triacylglycerols), and the lowering of cholesterol and homocysteine levels (Hidaka et al., 2001 Luo et al., 1996 Tungland, 2003). Convincing lipid-lowering effects have been demonstrated in animals (e.g., Delzenne et al., 1993 Fiordaliso et al., 1995 Kok et al., 1998 Trautwein et al., 1998). Rats on inulin-rich diets, for example, had lower blood cholesterol and total lipid levels than control animals, while reductions in serum triglycerides were reported for rats on diets containing 5 to 20 fructooligosaccharides (Roberfroid, 1993). However, the situation is less clear-cut for humans, where higher inulin doses (over 30 gday-1) can produce adverse gastrointestinal symptoms (Williams, 1999). Some human studies have found no effects, while a...

Authentification of lavender essential oil

'Hypoglycaemic effect of Lavandula species, but not in diabetes Gamez et al. (1987, 1988) studied the effects of water-soluble extracts of L. dentata, L. latifolia, L. stoechas and L. multifida on hypoglycaemic rats. Tests in normal rats, that is, normaglycaemic showed that both the 10 per cent and 20 per cent infusion and 10 per cent suspension administered orally decreased the blood glucose, that is, had a hypoglycaemic effect. L. stoechas was more active as an infusion while the other species as a suspension. L. dentata and L. stoechas both showed an hypoglycaemic effect on glucose-induced hyperglycaemic rats. However, there was no hypoglycaemic effect on alloxan-induced diabetic rats. This indicates that the hypoglycaemic effect can only occur if the pancreas is intact and is therefore absolutely useless in diabetes.

Plants containing hypoglycaemic alkaloids

In the folk medicine of several countries, such as the Philippines, Jamaica, South Africa, India and Australia, an infusion of the leaves is given in the treatment of diabetes. Research on the hypoglycaemic effect was not abandoned, however, and the different Catharanthus alkaloids were administered in doses of 100 mg kg to rats with fasting hyperglycaemia. Three of the alkaloids, leurosine, vindoline and vindolinine, proved more potent than tolbutamide at equivalent doses, whilst three other alkaloids had a less pronounced effect (see Table 7.2). Leurosine alone had a slight effect on cell division. Before possible use in diabetes the hypoglycaemic alkaloids will have to be completely isolated from the others as many of these are cytotoxic (Svoboda etal., 1964). In doses of 0.5 mg kg both extracts produce in cats and rabbits a decrease of blood sugar level lasting for about 4 h

Taming High Blood Pressure Naturally

Hypertension is one of the greatest health care problems facing today's world with 50 million North Americans suffering from this often-silent killer. According the American Heart Association, one in three U.S. adults has hypertension, and one-third are unaware that they have it.1 Elevated blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart attacks and strokes along with excess wear and tear throughout the body, and hypertension is the foremost cause of unexpected death. Hypertension also contributes to comorbidity in individuals with diabetes More than 73 of people with diabetes also have elevated blood pressure.2 One of the most challenging aspects of treating a patient with hypertension is that the majority of cases of hypertension are categorized as essential hypertension, that is, the condition's cause is not readily identifiable. Thus, clinically deciding which of the multiple drug therapies that are most apt to help a given patient is as much art as it is clinical protocol. The...

Clinical Assessment

A detailed history, physical examination, and laboratory testing are necessary to rule out confounding factors and diagnose andropause correctly. Pertinent history questions should focus on the difference between loss of libido and impotence that results from erectile dysfunction. Excessive alcohol intake can suppress androgen production. Several factors act as diagnostic confounders. Chronic illness and stress (physical and mental) can lead to a decline in testosterone levels. Pharmaceuticals, such as spironolactone, digoxin, and cimetidine, also may produce this effect. Conditions, such as insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes, are associated with hypogonadism10,14,15 while anemia and hypothyroidism can produce fatigue and decreased libido. Other, rarer conditions, such as Kallman's syndrome, Klinefelter's syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome, that result in hypogonadism should also be ruled out.

Fibrinogen

With the knowledge that CRP and fibrinogen are signatures of inflammatory processes in the body, ACM practitioners use these markers as a sign that the body is creating inflammatory processes in the cardiovascular system, and treatments are geared toward lowering levels of these markers in the body. The inflammatory process is considered to be the premier etiologic event that initiates the development and propagation of the atherosclerotic process.53 Elevated CRP and fibrinogen levels are indirectly treated with an overall anti-inflammatory approach, involving diet, supplementation, and botanical medicines. Fibrinogen is known to be elevated in individuals with diabetes those who are overweight, sedentary and in smokers. Even in healthy people, fibrinogen levels have been shown to increase by 25 mg dL per decade.54 Studies have also shown that increased social stress, such as lack of job control, causes an increase in fibrinogen levels, suggesting the possible pathway between elevated...

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another widely researched adjunctive therapy, with various effects throughout the body and on inflammatory diseases. Vitamin E exists as eight different forms including four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. A powerful antioxidant with several antiatherogenic effects, much attention has been focused on vitamin E in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E exerts beneficial effects on LDL oxidation, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and CRP levels.64 Providing patients with 1,200 international units (IU) per day of alpha-tocopherol significantly lowered interleukin-6 and hsCRP levels in a five-month study.65 Other studies have shown a direct dose-response effect of up to 1,200 IU of vitamin E on anti-inflammatory effects and inhibition of CRP.66 In another study, 1,200 IU of vitamin E reduced elevated CRP levels by 33 in control subjects who were nondiabetic and by 25 in patients with type 2 diabetes after three months of supplementation.45 A similar...

Ms Technology

We wish to explain this in the following. In a typical sample, one can expect several peptides that derive from the same protein precursor. To illustrate this, we refer to the peptide insulin, which is a native cleavage product from the insulin precursor molecule. Normally, a combination of prohormone convertase cleavage and carboxypeptidase cleavage gives rise to the connecting peptide (C-peptide 2.5 kDa) and the mature, bioactive insulin molecule (5.8 kDa), which has two polypeptide chains linked by two S-S bonds. In end-stage diabetes type II, this processing that takes place in the P-cells of the pancreatic islets is impaired so that the insulin prohormone itself (9 kDa) is secreted and can be found in blood, in addition to insulin and the C-peptide. What would a tryptically digested insulin peptide tell the researcher Only a fraction of biology and pathophysiology would remain intact. In other cases, peptides may just differ by a few amino acids located at their N-or C-terminal...

Heavy Metals

Physiologic, psychologic, and pathologic stressors may interfere with metabolic homeostasis and cause excess toxic burdens. Numerous disease processes and stressors can result in dysfunction of normally functioning, sufficient pathways. Oxidative, physiologic, and psychologic stressors can contribute to such impairments. Such stressors can result in direct increases in free-radical production as a result of altered biochemical pathways shunted to cope with such stressors. As a consequence of these altered biochemical pathways, over the course of time, disease processes can take hold within the body. These disease processes can also have devastating consequences, such as those that arise from diabetes mellitus, including glycosylation of proteins and accumulation of sorbitol. Advanced glycosylation endproducts (AGEs) can be ingested in the diet generally in the form of foods undergoing prolonged heating, particularly fats, meat and meat-substitutes, and broiled foods.2 Studies show...

Artemisia Maritima L

Sea mugwort has been used extensively as anthelmintic in coastal areas of Europe. This use is very likely to be based on the presence of santonin. Further medicinal claims include antibacterial, fungistatic, antidiabetic, spasmolytic, carminative, antipyretic and abortifacient properties. It has also been used to treat jaundice and as a liver protective (Jambaz and Gilani 1995).

Vanadium

150 mg per day or 300 mg per day of vanadyl sulfate for six weeks, there was improvement in three of the five subjects who received 150 mg and in four of the eight subjects who received 300 mg.22 Reductions in fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin were enough to be significant, although not dramatically so. In addition, this work demonstrated that, in skeletal muscle, vanadium also appears to modulate the number of insulin receptors and their phosphorylation. Two other small studies also demonstrated improvement in glycemic control using only 100 mg per day (see Table 11-2 on page 133) of vanadyl sulfate for three or four weeks, and, in both studies, the improvement in blood glucose control continued for periods of two or four weeks after supplementation had ended.23,24 It is important to note that that even the lower doses of vanadyl sulfate (100 mg per day) caused some gastrointestinal intolerance (see Table 11-2 on page 133). A different, organic form of vanadium,...

Carnosine

Carnosine is a dipeptide consisting of beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is found only in animal tissues and particularly in high concentrations in skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and the brain.49 Research shows that carnosine can prevent the formation of AGEs, cross-linking, glycation, and protein carbonyl group formation.50 Studies indicate that muscle carnosine levels decrease significantly with age demonstrating a 63 decrease from age 10 to age 70.51 Carnosine acts as an antioxidant decreasing lipid oxidation, protecting membranes from free radical damage, regulating white blood cell function, and chelating reactive metals. In fact, carnosine has been shown to scavenge metabolites from lipid peroxidation preventing DNAprotein and protein-protein cross-linking reactions. These researchers also suggest that carnivorous diets may be protective for complications associated with high blood sugar and aging due to the high carnosine levels found in animal tissue.52 Preliminary studies...

Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant and free-radical scavenger. It is both water and fat soluble and can regenerate endogenous antioxidants. ALA has been shown to both decrease blood sugar in diabetics as well as attenuate secondary conditions associated with diabetes. Research has shown that oral ALA supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes.54 Studies with obese diabetes-prone rats have shown that ALA can prevent the onset of diabetes in these animals. This model showed that ALA reduced body weight, protected pancreatic beta-cells from destruction, and reduced triglyceride accumulation in skeletal muscle and pancreatic islets.55 ALA has also been shown to exhibit antiglycating effects. A study examined ALA administration in high fructose-fed rats. The results showed a significant decrease in glucose, glycated protein, glycated hemoglobin, and fructosamine with ALA in high fructose-fed rats. ALA also prevented glycation and the...

Etiology

Researchers have found a genetic correlation in endometriosis development. Women who have first-degree relatives with the disease have 10 times the risk of developing endometriosis.3 In addition, women with family histories of endometriosis are statistically more likely to experience an earlier onset and increased severity of the disease.4 Recent studies suggest oxidative stress, environmental toxin exposure, and immune dysfunction as possible factors in the onset and progression of endometriosis. Chlorinated hydrocarbons such as dioxin and polychlo-rinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have adverse clinical effects on the immune and endocrine systems, have been associated with endometriosis. For example, several studies on monkeys have demonstrated a direct correlation between dioxin exposure and endometriosis. In these studies, the amount of dioxin exposure was correlated with severity of disease. The monkeys showed immune system dysfunction similar to the immune abnormalities seen in...

Loganiaceae

P Asiaticoside had been found to be active in the treatment of leprosy (by dissolving the waxy coating of Mycobacterium leprae whilst an oxidized form, oxyasiaticoside, inhibited the growth of tubercle bacillus in vitro and in vivo (Boiteau et al., 1949). In clinical trials, Appa Roa et al. (1969, 1973) studied the effect of the plant on the general mental ability of mentally retarded children and its anabolic effect on normal healthy adults. They found that in 30 mentally retarded children (free from epilepsy and other neurological conditions) a significant improvement in both general ability and behavioural pattern was obtained when the drug was administered for a period of 12 weeks. In 43 normal adults the mean levels of blood sugar, serum cholesterol, total protein and vital capacity were increased by the drug and the mean levels of blood urea and serum acid phosphatase were decreased (Appa Rao et al., 1973).

Fats and Fatty Acids

One of the most intriguing studies, commonly referred to as the DIANA study, was conducted by Berrino et al.1 This study demonstrated that the plasma insulin-lowering effects of low-fat intake decreased insulin resistance as a result of reduced body mass index and waist circumference.1,28,29 Additional benefits were obtained by increasing omega-3 fatty acid and mono-unsaturated fatty acids while decreasing refined carbohydrate intake, with the goal of improving insulin sensitivity.30-32

Larginine

On 13 patients with hypertension and angina, L-arginine, taken at 2 g, three times per day led to improvement of resting systolic blood pressure, reduction of angina symptoms, and better quality of life all were considered to be significant.19 In another study on patients with both hypertension and diabetes, patients were given 3 g of L-arginine every hour for 10 hours over two days, and this produced a drop in systolic blood pressure of about 12 mmHg and a drop in diastolic blood pressure of about 6 mmHg.20 These effects were reversed within hours of L-arginine cessation. As it is impractical to take L-arginine orally every hour, a three times per day dosing schedule of 2-5 g may be attempted, or a time-release product utilized. An additional benefit of L-arginine therapy is that its ability to vasodilate can also help support better erectile functioning that often becomes compromised with long-term circulatory disease.

Platelet Aggregation

Thrombus formation is important in cardiovascular diseases.3334 Platelets are blood cell fragments that originate from the cytoplasm of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow and circulate in blood. They play a major role in the hemostatic process and in thrombus formation after an endothelial injury. Circulating human platelets also play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, and increased platelet aggregation is associated with enhanced atherogenicity.35 Recent studies have provided insight into platelet functions in inflammation and atherosclerosis.36 Platelets release several growth factors and bioactive agents that play a central role in the development of thrombus and intimal thickening.37 A range of molecules, present on the platelet surface or stored in platelet granules, contribute to the crosstalk among platelets and other inflammatory cells during vascular inflammation, which is involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis.38,39 Platelet...

Magnesium

A low ratio of intracellular magnesium to intracellular calcium has been identified in all four of the conditions that comprise metabolic syndrome.16 Thus, low magnesium levels are implicated as an important precipitating factor in metabolic syndrome. Ionic intracellular imbalances are associated with cardiovascular diseases and occur in this syndrome as well.17 Magnesium also plays a main role in controlling insulin-mediated cellular glucose uptake and in counteracting calcium-directed arterial constriction.18 According to epidemiologic studies, magnesium supplementation for patients with type 2 diabetes and people with hypertension is protective against these disorders, whether they occur alone or are coexistent in an individual.19 In one study, patients with diabetes were observed to be significantly hypomagnesemic compared to control subjects, and magnesium supplementation exerted positive effects on blood-lipid profiles.20 The disorders of metabolic syndrome occur less frequently...

Chromium

A relationship between chromium status and insulin resistance is known to exist in humans,23 and various studies in animals have demonstrated a link between chromium deficiency and insulin resistance.24 The benefits of chromium supplementation on serum glucose, lipids, and insulin resistance have occurred in both diabetes types, with a dose-dependent effect.25 One study that examined the effects of high-dose chromium supplementation (with a calculated reference dose of 70 mg per day) noted the occurrence of DNA fragmentation.26 Despite a few anecdotal reports of chromium toxicity, and the tendency of chromium to accumulate within the kidney tissues, no other side-effects have been reported in the literature. Chromium as a treatment cofactor in insulin resistance is supported further by research that implies that a lack of, or low amounts of, ingested chromium may be associated with glucose and insulinregulation disorder. Thus, using a chromium supplement may help to prevent these...

Alphalipoic Acid

Originally classified as a vitamin upon its discovery more than 50 years ago, alpha-lipoic acid is an endogenous coenzyme that acts in conjunction with pyrophosphatase in carbohydrate metabolism and synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Supplemental alpha-lipoic acid exerts potent antioxidant activity and is well known for its usefulness as an intra- and extracellular free-radical scavenger and as a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant. In addition, alpha-lipoic acid can regenerate endogenous antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and glutathione.32 Patients with type 2 diabetes who took alpha-lipoic acid daily experienced improved insulin resistance and glucose tolerance after several weeks of treatment in one study.33 Both single and short-term administrations of alpha-lipoic acid have produced increased insulin sensitivity one study demonstrated an increased glucose clearance of nearly 50 .34 In another trial, daily infusions of 500 mg of alpha-lipoic acid over 10 days in...

Pushkarmoola

A traditional Ayurvedic botanical medicine, Pushkarmoola (Inula racemosa), has demonstrated blood glucose-lowering effects and enhanced liver glycogen storage without elevating plasma insulin in animal studies. This effect was not due to increased adrenal gland activity or beta-cell degranulation.36 In addition, the researchers involved in one animal study suggested that the hypoglycemic response that Inula produces may occur peripherally via enhancement of insulin sensitivity, not via up-regulation or release of insulin itself. Inula extract decreased serum glucose concentration in corticosteroid-induced hyperglycemia animal models, also suggesting that additional studies of this botanical medicine may shed light on its use for treating insulin sensitivity.37 Additional research in human models is needed to quantify the effects of this herb further as an adjunctive treatment for metabolic syndrome.

Gymnema

Another botanical medicine from the Ayurvedic system, gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) leaf extract is used as an adjunctive to insulin and oral hypoglycemic therapies for treating patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Gymnema causes additional reductions in blood glucose levels as well as decreasing glycosylated hemoglobin.38 In addition, this herb is effective for lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with type 2 diabetes, and researchers have speculated that therapy with a specific gymnema extract may stimulate production of endogenous insulin by regenerating and or revitalizing residual beta cells in these patients.39 Other studies have shown that gymnema decreases blood-sugar levels, serum triglycerides, and total cholesterol including very low-density lipoprotein and LDL cholesterol.40 One early study suggested that gymnemic acids, which are derivatives of the leaf, may inhibit intestinal absorption of glucose and may stimulate pancreatic beta-cell...

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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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