Scottish blaeberry could treat diabetes

Thursday, June 3, 2010

LONDON - Extract of one of Scotland’s most popular wild fruits - the blaeberry - could be used to treat diabetes, researchers reckon.

In their study, Aberdeen University scientists will explore the possibility of using a concentrated capsule form of the blaeberry to combat the disease.

To come up with the conclusion, scientists will use overweight male volunteers in the study which will examine whether taking a capsule form of the fruit improves symptoms in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a form of the disease which develops when the body either does not produce enough insulin or the insulin that is produced fails to work properly, reports The Scotsman.

Lead researcher Dr Nigel Hoggard, from Aberdeen University’s Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health, said: “The exact link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity has never been pinpointed. We think the answer to their connection lies in fat tissue. When fat increases, this is associated with a low grade inflammation, and the release of a number of hormones into the blood.

“It is these hormones, and how they act on the glucose in our body, which we believe causes Type 2 diabetes to occur.”

He explained: “We know that blaeberries - which come from the same family as blueberries - are naturally very high in a chemical substance called ‘polyphenols’. We believe this substance could reduce the inflammation which occurs when fat increases.”

A university spokeswoman said: “We’ll be asking volunteers to take a concentrated form of the berry as a capsule three times daily - equating to approximately 11/2 cups of blaeberries - to test whether this helps reduce inflammation associated with the increased fat tissue, and, therefore, improve their diabetic symptoms.

“Sixty overweight male volunteers with Type 2 diabetes between the ages of 40 to 70 who live in Aberdeen city, shire or the surrounding area, are being sought for the three-week study.” (ANI)

Filed under: Insulin

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