Chaste tree berry may have a potential in stimulated pancreatic islet regeneration in reduced risk of development and treatment of Type I and II diabetes, some researchers suggested..
Diabetes is a condition characterized by insufficient insulin entering the bloodstream in regulation of levels of glucose.
The disease are either caused by cells in pancreas dying off or receptor sites clogged up by fat and cholesterol.
In some cases, diabetes is also caused by allergic reaction of cells in the immune system.
Chaste tree berry is a species of Vitex agnus-castus, genus Vitex, belongings to the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region, used in herbal medicine for thousands of year as anaphrodisiac herb and considered as Queen herb in treating menstrual problems and discomforts.
According to the study, diabetes rats induced by streptozotocin treated with extract of chaste tree berry displayed a significant effect in increased volume density of pancreatic islet as well as percentage of β-cells and size of islet.
Decrease volume and weight of pancreatic islet is associated to juvenile-onset, insulin-dependent diabetes.
Percentage of β-cells are greatly reduced already at clinical onset of type II diabetes.
Pancreatic islets are the regions of the pancreas containing hormone-producing cells,
Dr. Oche O, the lead researcher said, "plant extracts, (exhibited) regeneration of β-cells along with β-cells repairs, in compared to non-treated diabetic control which showed complete degeneration of the islet cells".
Furthermore, the study also found that the levels of total bilirubin, direct bilirubin and unconjugated bilirubin are significantly lower in treated group in comparison to control.
In compared to healthy control, the median bilirubin level was significantly higher in the diabetes.
More important, in D-galactose induces pancreatic disorder along in aging mouse model, treatment of Vitex agnus-castus (VAC) demonstrated potential pancreatic protective and hypoglycemic effects through improved the size of pancreatic islets that were decreased in aged and D-galactose groups.
Galactose D is a type of monosaccharide sugar, considered as sweet as glucose.
In a total of 72 adult female Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice (weighing 30-35 g) divided into 6 groups: control, VAC hydroalcoholic extract, D-galactose, D-galactose + VAC hydroalcoholic extract, aged, aged + VAC hydroalcoholic extract through subcutaneous injection of D-galactose for 45 days and then VAC hydroalcoholic extract gavaged twice a day in the last 7 days.
24 h after the last drug and extract administrations, group treated with Chaste tree berry extract or combinations of the extract showed an increased insulin and decreased serum glucose and D-galactose level in compared to other treatment groups.
The study also found, "Despite the size of pancreatic islets decreased in aged and D-galactose groups, ........... VAC hydroalcoholic extract has hypoglycemic and pancreatic protective effects in natural aged and aging model mice".
In fact, there is a report indicated that oral administration of iridoid glucoside isolated from chaste tree berry once daily to diabetic rats for the period of 30 days is effective as glibenclamide, a known hypoglycemic drug, at concentration of 50 mg/kg body weight.
Promissingly, iridoid glucoside reversed hyperglycemia-induced biochemical changes to near normal levels.
Collectively, Chaste tree berry may be used as functional food for treatment of Type I and Type II diabetes through the hypoglycemic and pancreatic protective effects.
However, further data collection on studies performed with human consumption during the course of the disease will be necessary to complete the picture of its antidiabetes possibilities.
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Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Pancreatic islet regeneration and some liver biochemical parameters of leaf extracts of Vitex doniana in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic albino rats by Oche O1, Sani I1, Chilaka NG1, Samuel NU1, Samuel A1.(PubMed)
(2) Pancreatic protective and hypoglycemic effects of Vitex agnus-castus L. fruit hydroalcoholic extract in D-galactose-induced aging mouse model by Ahangarpour A1, Oroojan AA2, Khorsandi L3, Najimi SA4.(PubMed)
(3) Antihyperglycemic effect of iridoid glucoside, isolated from the leaves of Vitex negundo in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with special reference to glycoprotein components by Sundaram R1, Naresh R, Shanthi P, Sachdanandam P.(PubMed)
(4) The pancreatic islets in diabetes by Gepts W, Lecompte PM(PubMed)