AsianScientist (Jul. 2, 2012) – With the growing worldwide incidence of diabetes, a new study has revealed the potential for traditional Aboriginal and Indian Aryuvedic plant extracts in the management of the disease.
In a new study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers from Swinburne University of Technology investigated 12 medicinal plant extracts to determine their potential to slow down two key enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism which affect blood sugar and diabetes.
“More than 800 plants are used as traditional remedies in one or other form for the treatment of diabetes, but the management of the disease without any side effects is still a challenge,” said researcher Associate Professor Enzo Palombo.
The study evaluated the activity of seven Australian aboriginal medicinal plants and five Indian Ayurvedic plants against the metabolic enzymes α-amylase and α-glucosidase that break down carbohydrates from the diet into simple sugars. It also investigated the antioxidant properties of these plants.
Of the twelve plant extracts evaluated, Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) and the Indian kino tree (Pterocarpus marsupium) had the greatest effect in slowing down both enzymes.
The extracts of Sandhill wattle (Acacia ligulata), pale turpentine bush (Beyeria leshnaultii), velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) and tar vine (Boerhaavia diffusa) were effective against α-glucosidase only.
The study further found that wanderrie wattle (Acacia kempeana) and Sandhill wattle had an antioxidant effect, eliminating free radicals which are heavily implicated in diabetes.
According to Palombo, the results of this study show that traditional plant extracts have good potential for the prevention and management of diabetes, and should be explored in modern drug discovery efforts.
Source: Swineburne University of Technology.
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