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Sesame Seed Lignans May Improve Blood Glucose Levels in Pre-Diabetics

Individuals with blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetics are classified as pre-diabetic. A recent study suggests that taking an herbal blend containing sesame seed lignan extracts may lower blood glucose levels in pre-diabetics.

Participants in the study included 20 individuals (13 female, 7 male) between the ages of 18 and 65 with pre-diabetes and mild to moderate hyperlipidemia. Over the course of 6 weeks they took either a placebo or 500 mg of the sesame seed extract daily.

All of the participants were recommended to follow therapeutic lifestyle changes such as low fat diet, weight management and increased physical activity.

At the three and six week markers, the researchers measured the glycemic levels of all of the participants. They noted a 7.5% reduction in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, a 5 % reduction in total cholesterol levels, a 6% decrease in the oral glucose tolerance test, and a 7% decrease in fasting blood sugar levels in the sesame seed lignan extract group at both of those testing times.

Researchers from Olive Biosciences in India conducted the study. It was published in the October 2013 issue of Journal of Food Research.

Sesame seeds are a very good source of manganese, copper, calcium, iron, vitamin B1 and dietary fiber. They also contain two lignans, sesamin and sesamolin, that have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.

Previous studies have linked sesame seeds to improved oral health, reduction in blood pressure, protection from free radicals and relieving constipation.

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