Type 2 diabetes is the typical diabetes of adulthood and is characterized by a reduced production of insulin or the insulin produced does not act satisfactorily with the result of an increase in circulating glucose. To treat this condition, it is generally required to change the lifestyle, making it more active, and the diet, favoring whole foods and rich in fiber. Nature can also help though. In fact, mulberry leaves, Morus alba, have been shown to possess antidiabetic properties, as evidenced by a research published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research by a Korean team (Bae et al, FNR, 2018).
Mulberry leaves and glycaemia
The ability of mulberry leaves to reduce postprandial glycaemia was already known from previous studies. However, the mechanism of action was not understood. This is why Korean researchers have focused their attention on the properties of mulberry leaves, hypothesizing their effect on the use of glucose by the muscles of the body.
To demonstrate the action of mulberry leaves on blood sugar and on the use of glucose by muscles, 50 mg / kg , 100 mg / kg and 250 mg / kg of mulberry leaf extracts were administered to a population of mice. Another group was given 100 mg / kg of metformin, which is a drug used in diabetes. What emerged was that the mulberry leaf extracts of 100 and 250 mg / kg behaved in a way comparable to metformin, reducing fasting blood sugar and at the same time increasing insulin sensitivity. Not only that, mulberry leaves also reduced cholesterol and triglycerides and attenuated steatosis, or fatty liver, where present. At a later stage, the researchers also administered substances, P13K and AMPK inhibitors, capable of inhibiting the activation of other proteins responsible for transporting glucose into skeletal muscles. Well, in these cases the antidiabetic effects of mulberry leaves were not observed. Therefore, this shows that mulberry leaves reduce blood sugar by increasing the absorption of glucose and its use in the muscles.
Where to find mulberry leaves
Mulberry leaves can be found in the form of extracts in capsules or dried to prepare herbal teas, in chemist's and herbalist's shops. However, always ask your doctor for advice before starting any treatment to avoid interactions with other drugs.