Sunday, 18 August 2019

Onion in the Prevention and Treatment of type 2 diabetes

By Kyle J. Norton

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition caused by insufficient insulin entering the bloodstream.

 Type 2 diabetes (acquired diabetes), is a condition caused by either the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or the insulin does not work properly due to dysfunction of the insulin receptors.

In other words, type 2 diabetes is associated with the levels of insulin that were either blocked by the clog-up of the insulin receptors by fat and cholesterol or the death of beta cells which produce insulin in the pancreas.

Epidemiologically, most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

However, some patients may also experience symptoms of blurred vision, depression, sleeping difficulties, appetite problems, and emotional stress.

Most common causes of diabetes are 
* Metabolic syndrome, the cluster of conditions associated with the risk diabetes, including high blood cholesterol, sugar, and blood pressure.

* Compared to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

According to statistics, approximately 6 million or 13% of Canadians have prediabetes. Prediabetes if left unmanaged can develop into type 2 diabetes.

* Gestational diabetes, a condition of high blood glucose of pregnant women who are experiencing the symptoms only during pregnancy as a result of hormonal change

* Damage to the pancreas associated with reduced numbers or death of the beta cells.

* Influenza A viruses that commonly cause pancreatitis in naturally and experimentally infected animals.

The onion is a plant in the genus Allium, belonging to the family Alliaceae, a close relation of garlic. It is often called the "king of vegetables" because of its pungent taste and found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world's cultures. 

Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet.

On finding a potent ingredient for the prevention of diabetes, researchers evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of garlic, white onion, and purple onion on subjects with diabetes.

Elevated levels of α-amylase and α-glucosidase involved in levels of blood glucose were inhibited by the aqueous extract of garlic, purple onion, and white onion in a concentration-dependent manner (0-4 mg/ml).

Additional differentiation also suggested that white onion had significantly (p < .05) stronger inhibitory effect on α-amylase (IC50 = 3.93 mg/mL) compared to those of garlic (IC50 = 8.19 mg/ml) and purple onion (IC50 = 8.27 mg/ml).

Furthermore, all aqueous extracts showed a significant activity to scavenge 2,2- diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH*) free radical and reduce Fe3+ to Fe2+ in a dose-dependent manner.

Based on the findings, researchers concluded, "a possible mechanism by which garlic, white onion, and purple onion exert antidiabetes,,, properties could be through the inhibitory effect on... α-amylase, and α-glucosidase coupled with their ability to prevent lipid peroxidation in the pancreas and heart, which justify their strong antioxidant properties".

In chemical analysis, sulfur compounds including S-methyl cysteine and flavonoids such as quercetin found in onion also are responsible for the hypoglycemic activity.

S-methyl cysteine and flavonoids found in onion not only decreased the levels of blood glucose, serum lipids, oxidative stress but also increased antioxidant enzyme activity and insulin secretion. 

More importantly, in preliminarily clinical trials, patients with diabetes safely consumed slices of Allium cepa, including onion exhibited sufficient hypoglycemic activity.

Taken altogether, onion used alone or combined with garlic may be considered a remedy for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

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) Inhibitory Effect of Garlic, Purple Onion, and White Onion on Key Enzymes Linked with Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension by Oboh G1, Ademiluyi AO1, Agunloye OM1, Ademosun AO1, Ogunsakin BG. (PubMed)
(2) Spice plant Allium cepa: dietary supplement for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus by Akash MS1, Rehman K2, Chen S. (PubMed)

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