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Controling diabetes with cooked cactus?

Controlling diabetes with cooked cactus?

A type of cactus used in Mexico as an herbal remedy for non-insulin-dependent diabetes actually does lower patients' blood glucose levels, but how this happens is still unclear, according to Mexican scientists, whose report on the new research appears in the January DIABETES CARE.

After fasting for 12 hours, one group of subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes was given broiled stems of the cactus, Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire, which is a food source for Mexicans. Another group was given water. In the cactus group, blood glucose and insulin levels decreased, and in the water group, the levels did not change.

Alberto C. Frati-Munari and his colleagues at the Hospital de Especialidades in Col. La Raza say they do not understand how the cactus lowers blood glucose levels. But they suggest it may improve the effectiveness of available insulin, which stimulates the move of glucose from blood into the body's cells, where it is used as energy or stored as fat.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 23, 1988
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