Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

The Mulberry Leaf: One of Nature's Answers to Type 2 Diabetes

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

The Mulberry Leaf: One of Nature's Answers to Type 2 Diabetes

Article excerpt

According to government data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people living with diabetes in America is growing at an alarming rate, up by three million cases, from 21 million to 24 million, in the past two years. Approximately 90 percent of those patients have type 2 diabetes mellitus. Formerly called non-insulin- dependent, or adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes is linked to poor diet, obesity, and a lack of exercise.

In managing type 2 diabetes and its associated health problems, eating right is critical. However, making the right diet and lifestyle choices can often be difficult for many patients because of the large amount of sugars and finely processed carbohydrates that constitute the American diet. A diet loaded with refined carbohydrates and starches can set off unpredictable blood sugar fluctuations, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other circulatory problems.

For type 2 diabetic patients, the body's ability to respond to the absorbed sugars and carbohydrates no longer functions properly; patients experience abrupt blood glucose elevations fight after a meal. This condition is often referred to as a post-meal (postprandial) blood sugar spike. However, levels in some patients can go lower than immediately after the spikes because of the body's "overreaction" to blood sugar elevation, resulting in blood sugar fluctuations from high to low.

These fluctuations are often mentioned as the leading cause of diabetic complications. In order to manage the disease, the average patient with type 2 diabetes relies on two to three different prescription medications, many of which have troubling side effects, including weight gain.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in natural remedies that can help manage type 2 diabetes. One natural ingredient has shown particular promise: the mulberry leaf. Mulberry leaves are the food source of silkworms and have been used for generations in traditional Chinese medicine as a "cooling" herb to remove excess heat from the body. The leaf is also used in some Indian foods. The biggest benefit of mulberry is its ability to help stabilize blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. …

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