Rat Study: Mulberry Leaf's Supplement Potential

July 29/Food Weekly News -- According to recent research from Khon Kaen, Thailand, "In Thailand, beverages containing mulberry leaf (Morus alba L.) are believed to promote good health, especially in people with diabetes. We examined the effects of long-term administration of an ethanolic extract of mulberry leaf (MA) on blood glucose, oxidative damage, and glycation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats."

"Daily administration of 1g/kg MA for six weeks decreased blood glucose by 22%, which was comparable to the effect of 4 U/kg insulin. Lipid peroxidation, measured as malondialdehyde and lipid hydroperoxide concentrations (3.50 +/- 0.33 and 3.76 +/- 0.18 mc M, respectively) decreased significantly (P < 0.05) compared to nontreated control diabetic rats (8.19 +/- 0.45 and 7.50 +/- 0.46 mc M, respectively). Hemoglobin A(1C), a biomarker for chronic exposure to high concentration of glucose, was also significantly decreased in the MA-treated group (6.78 +/- 0.30%) in comparison to untreated group (9.02 +/- 0.30%). The IC50 of in vitro antiglycation and free radical scavenging activities of MA were 16.4 +/- 5.6 mu g/ml and 61.7 +/- 2.1 mu g/ml, respectively," wrote J. Naowaboot and colleagues, Khon Kaen University.

The researchers concluded, "These findings support that long-term administration of MA has antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and antiglycation effects in chronic diabetic rats, which may be beneficial as food supplement for diabetics."

Naowaboot and colleagues published their study in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition ("Antihyperglycemic, Antioxidant and Antiglycation Activities of Mulberry Leaf Extract in Streptozotocin-induced Chronic Diabetic Rats." Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 2009;64(2):116-121).

For additional information, contact P. Pannangpetch, Khon Kaen University, Dept. of Pharmacology, Faculty Medical, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.

From the August 3, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition