Ginger can control diabetes

Ginger, a common spice in Indian kitchens can manage high levels of blood sugar which create complications for long-term diabetic patients, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the University of Sydney found that ginger has the power to control blood glucose by using muscle cells.

“Ginger extracts obtained from Buderim Ginger were able to increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells independently of insulin,” Professor of pharmaceutical chemistry Basil Roufogalis who led the research said in a statement.

“This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long-term diabetic patients, and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin,” Roufogalis said.

“The components responsible for the increase in glucose were gingerols, the major phenolic components of the ginger rhizome. Under normal conditions, blood glucose level is strictly maintained within a narrow range, and skeletal muscle is a major site of glucose clearance in the body,” Roufogalis added.

The pharmacy researchers extracted whole ginger rhizomes obtained from Buderim Ginger and showed that that one fraction of the extract was the most effective in reproducing the increase in glucose uptake by the whole extract in muscle cells grown in culture.

The study also determined how the gingerols could increase glucose uptake and showed an increase in the surface distribution of the protein GLUT4.

When the protein localises on the surface of muscle cells it allows transport of glucose into cells.

In type 2 diabetic patients, the capacity of skeletal muscle to uptake glucose is markedly reduced due to impaired insulin signal transduction and inefficiency of the GLUT4.

The study was published in the journal Planta Medica.

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