Diabetes: The cholesterol-lowering vegetable that lowers blood sugar by 50%

Diabetes: The cholesterol-lowering vegetable that lowers blood sugar by 50%

Type 2 diabetes means that the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels or that the insulin it does produce is not taken up by the cells. Insulin regulates blood sugar, the main type of sugar found in the blood. Deprived of this mechanism, blood sugar levels can rise to dangerous levels. Fortunately, there is an effective countermeasure at hand.

According to findings presented Thursday at the 97th annual meeting of The Endocrine Society in San Diego, onion bulb extract, Allium cepa, strongly reduced high blood glucose (sugar) and total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats when it was administered with the anti-diabetic drug metformin.

“Onion is cheap and readily available and has been used as a nutritional supplement,” said lead researcher Anthony Ojieh, MBBS (MD), MSc, of Delta State University in Abraka, Nigeria.

“It has the potential to be used in the treatment of patients with diabetes.”

To three groups of rats with medically induced diabetes, Mr. Ojieh and his colleagues gave metformin and varying doses of onion extract (200, 400, and 600 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg/ day)) to see if it would increase. the effects of the drug.

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They also gave metformin and onion extract to three groups of non-diabetic rats with normal blood sugar, for comparison.

Two control groups, one non-diabetic and one diabetic, received neither metformin nor onion extract.

Two other groups (one with diabetes and one without) received only metformin and no onion extract. Each group contained five rats.

Two doses of onion extract, 400 and 600 mg/kg/day, strongly reduced fasting blood sugar levels in diabetic rats by 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively, compared to levels ” baseline” at the start of the study before the rodents received onion. extract, informed Mr. Ojieh.

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Allium cepa also reduced total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats, with the two highest doses again having the greatest effects.

Onion extract caused an increase in mean weight among non-diabetic rats, but not diabetic rats.

“Onions are not high in calories,” Ojieh said. “However, it appears to increase metabolic rate and thereby increase appetite, leading to increased food intake.”

“We need to investigate the mechanism by which onion caused the reduction in blood glucose,” Ojieh said. “We still have no explanation.”

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The study, which also involved scientists from Cranfield University in the UK, found that the brown skin and outer layers of onions contain useful amounts of fiber and flavonoids, and that the bulbs contain sulfur compounds and fructans.

The research showed that because the brown skin of the onion was high in dietary fiber, it could be used as a functional ingredient, and that two outer fleshy layers also contain fiber and flavonoids, and have high antioxidant capacity.

Researcher Vanesa Benítez commented: “One solution could be to use onion waste as a natural source of ingredients of high functional value, because this vegetable is rich in compounds that bring benefits to human health.”

He added: “Eating fiber reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.”

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