Could plants cure diabetes?

A group of researchers from the University of Greenwich are exploring a new possibility in diabetes treatment: plants.

Scientists are currently investigating the healing powers of certain extracts from Cassia auriculata and Cassia alata, which may have the ability to battle diabetes in an even stronger way than standard pharmaceutical drugs.

A crucial breakthrough?

Dr. Solomon Habtemariam, from the university's School of Science, says that the findings could implicate a big breakthrough for current and future diabetes treatment:

"Diabetes is a huge burden to society in general. The search for treatments is making the NHS bankrupt, and this problem is likely to get worse in the next decade. There is no known drug of cure and so, all in all, it's a huge incentive for us to carry out research in this field."

Properties found in the plants not only appear to be anti-diabetic, but they also might have fat-lowering properties as well, which could be useful for diabetics battling obesity.

A synergistic effect

One of the compounds has been proven to be about eight times more effective than acarbose, a common diabetes drug.

"Our other most interesting finding is that many of the active ingredients from the Cassia auriculata plant work through a process called 'synergism' -- in other words, they work together to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects," said Habtemariam.

He notes that more research is currently underway, and that moving toward a clinical phase is the ultimate goal.

Source: Science Daily

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