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Mulberry Leaf Extract Shows Promise for Managing Blood Sugar Spikes

Spikes in blood sugar levels after eating may increase the risk of diabetes, kidney damage and damage to blood vessels. A recent study suggests that taking a supplement of mulberry leaf extract may reduce post meal blood sugar spikes.

Participants in the study included 50 healthy adults who were split into five groups. They drank either a maltose powder drink with 0, 1.25, 2.5, or 5 grams of mulberry leaf extract or a drink with 5 grams of mulberry leaf extract 30 minutes before drinking a maltose solution.

Blood sugar levels were measured 30 and 60 minutes after ingestion. Participants who drank the 2.5 and 5 gram doses had lower blood sugar levels after supplementation, compared to levels recorded prior to supplementation.

The researchers believe that the blood sugar benefits seen here are due to the presence in the mulberry leaf extract of a compound called 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ). DNJ slows the activity of a carbohydrate digesting enzyme known as alpha-glucosidase, which in turn slows the digestion of starches and keeps blood sugar from spiking after meals.

Researchers from Ewha Woman’s University and the Seoul National University of Science and Technology conducted the study. It was published in the July 2013 issue of Journal of Functional Foods.

In addition to helping manage blood sugar, previous studies have linked mulberry leaf extract with aiding with weight loss, lowering inflammation, and antioxidant effects.

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