Friday, 28 September 2018

Alfalfa, The Functional Herb Which Protects Our Body Against Type 2 Diabetes, Researchers Reveal

By Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition

Scientists may have found a whole herb which processes anti-diabetes property, some scientists suggested.

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by insufficient insulin entering the bloodstream to regulate the glucose as a result of either cell in pancreas dying off or receptor sites clogged up by fat and cholesterol.

In some cases, diabetes may also be caused by allergic reactions of cells in the immune system.

The actual causes of diabetes inflammatory condition are debatable.

Some researchers also do not know why some people without genetic mutations are susceptible to type 2 diabetes while others do not.

However, certain risk factors such as overweight and obesity (overexpression of fatty tissue that causes insulin resistant),  physical inactivity, family history, race,,,,, and age. ... 

Women developed gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome,.... and high blood pressure is also some major risk factors associated to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The first line medicine used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is metformin which processes a significant effect in improving the body tissue sensitivity to insulin. In other words, metformin improves the body uses insulin more effectively. and lowers glucose production in the liver.

In the stage prediabetes, patients may not experience any symptoms. However, untreated diabetes or diabetes that do not manage properly, may increase the risk of cataracts and glaucoma, foot damage.

In advance stage, untreated diabetes can also cause nerve damage or poor blood flow to the feet which in turn, increases the risk of various foot complications.

Alfalfa is a flowering plant in the genus Medicago, belonging to the family Fabaceae, It has been cultivated all over the world as hay for cattle feeding.

The leaves, sprouts, and seeds to make medicine has been used in traditional medicine over thousands of year to treat high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, enhance digestive system, bleeding disorder, kidney, and urinary tract infection, etc. North America aboriginal has used Alfalfa seed as food, such as making bread and mush.

1. Essential amino acids
2. Calcium
3. Magnesium
4. Potassium
5. Iron
6. Phosphorus
7. Zinc
8. Beta carotene
9. vitamin C
10. vitamins D
11.Vitamin E
12. Vitamin K

It chemical constituents include flavones, isoflavones, sterols, Bichanin, Coumestrol, Diadzein, Formonetin, Genistein,.... and  coumarin derivatives.

In the study to examine the Lucerne (alfalfa) effect by oral administrated the herbal extract through diet (62.5 g/kg) and drinking water (2.5 g/l) in reducing the hyperglycemia of streptozotocin-diabetic mice, researchers found
* Application of aqueous extract of lucerne exerts a significant stimulation of insulin secretion from the pancreatic B-cell line.

* Application of aqueous extract of lucern also promotes insulin-like activity in inhibited overexpression glucose.

* The sequential extraction with solvents revealed .higher insulin-releasing activity in both methanol and water fractions compared to one extract constituent.

Further analysis also suggested that the activity of the extract was found to be heat stable and enhanced by exposure to acid and alkali (0.1 M-HCl and NaOH).

Dr. Gray AM, the lead author at the final report wrote, "The results demonstrate the presence of antihyperglycaemic, insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity in the traditional antidiabetic plant, Medicago sativa".

Additionally, in the study to reaffirm the effect herbal alfalfa against onset of diabetes researchers launched a study to compare alfalfa with other herbal medicine including dried leaves of agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), blackberry (Rubus fructicosus), celandine (Chelidonium majus), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris), and lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis); seeds of coriander (Coriandrum sativum); dried berries of juniper (Juniperus communis); bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum) and roots of liquorice (Glycyrhizza glabra).

In mice administrated by streptozotocin (200 mg/kg i.p.) to induce the development of hyperphagia, polydipsia, body weight loss, hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia, researchers found that

* Herbal alfalfa exerts a strong effect in reduced the level of hyperglycemia during the development of streptozotocin diabetes compared to others herbs.

* Herbal alfalfa reduced polydipsia and a reduced rate of body weight loss.

* Alfalfa initially countered the hyperinsulinaemic effect of streptozotocin, without affecting the fall in plasma insulin.

Dr. said, after taking into account of other co and confounders, " The results suggest that certain traditional plant treatments for diabetes, namely alfalfa,.......can retard the development of streptozotocin diabetes in mice".

Taking all together, herbal alfalfa may be considered a functional herb for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

 However, additional data collection on large example size and multi-center clinical studies performed with human consumption of the whole food during the course of the disease will be necessary to complete the picture of alfalfa anti-type 2 diabetes possibilities.

And long-term multiple dietary supplement consumption of a broad array of vitamin/mineral, herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis should consult with their doctors or related field specialist before applying.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Pancreatic and extra-pancreatic effects of the traditional anti-diabetic plant, Medicago sativa (lucerne) by Gray AM, Flatt PR. (PubMed)
(2) Traditional plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. by Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, Bailey CJ, Flatt PR. (PubMed)
(3) Drug-induced lupus: an update by Vasoo S.(PubMed)

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