Mulberry is a Chinese plant whose leaves contain powerful antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and ascorbic acid. Also, they contain many other essential minerals, including iron, calcium, and zinc.
Besides antioxidant properties, these leaves offer amazing anti-inflammatory effects which help treat many chronic conditions.
However, did you know that many cultures around the world use a mulberry leaf to treat diabetes?
Mulberry Leaf and Diabetes
A lot of studies have been dedicated to mulberry leaf’s effects on blood glucose, blood lipids, weight management, and the risk of diabetes.
In 2012, “The American Journal of Chinese Medicine” published a study that shows the gallic acid in mulberry leaves helps reduce blood sugar levels.
Another 2007 study investigated the effects of mulberry extract on people with type 2 diabetes. Along with the extract, researchers gave the participants a sucrose drink as well. They tested their blood sugar levels before and 2,3, and 4 hours after taking the sucrose drink.
According to the results, the extract suppressed blood sugar spikes in the first 2 hours after drinking the sucrose. Therefore, researchers believe mulberry can not only treat diabetes but also prevent it from developing.
Mulberry Leaf Extract Before and After a Meal
Another research suggests that taking 1 gram of mulberry leaf extract before meals can decrease the rise in blood glucose that occurs after a meal. That’s why Dr. Low Dog recommends taking it before your larger meals.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published Medical News Today that suggests taking a mulberry leaf powder can suppress the rise in blood sugar levels and insulin secretion after meals in otherwise healthy adults.
This indicates that mulberry leaf powder can prevent the development of diabetes in these people.
The research involved people with type 2 diabetes who either took 1 tablet (5mg) of the drug glyburide or 3g of mulberry-dried leaves a day for four weeks.
The results showed the following effects:
- The therapy involving mulberry-dried leaves significantly improved the participants’ diabetes control
- Their A1C levels and blood glucose concentrations were reduced in comparison with the glyburide therapy
- The mulberry therapy reduced their LDL (bad) and total cholesterol levels and increased their HDL (good) cholesterol
Refined carb intake links to a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But, a 2017 study showed that mulberry leaf extract could reduce the breakdown of carbs into simple sugars, thus cutting the risk of type 2 diabetes.
This effect is thanks to the presence of 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) in the mulberry leaf extract.
Even though the initial results are promising, more pragmatic trials presenting dietary habits from real life are needed to conclude that mulberry leaf can prevent type 2 diabetes.