Herbal Oils May Enhance Insulin Sensitivity and Lower Blood Pressure in Diabetic Rats

Research at Georgetown University Medical Center has found that a combination of naturally occurring edible oils may be effective in treating Type II diabetes. These findings were presented at the American College of Nutritions annual meeting October 6 and 7 in Orlando, Fla.

Harry G. Preuss, MD, MACN, CNS, professor of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown and the lead investigator of this study, and his research team, examined the effects of a combination of edible oils from fenugreek, cumin, pumpkin seed and oregano on rats that have been specifically bred to show many of the characteristics of type 2 diabetes. A single dose of the oils decreased the rats blood pressure, and daily doses kept the blood pressure at the lower level for the three-week study period. But when researchers stopped giving the oil mixture, blood pressure returned to its normal levels.

Patients taking drugs to treat Type II diabetes mellitus, a disease that often accompanies obesity, can develop serious adverse drug reactions, Preuss said. For this reason, it is important to examine the potential of safe and proven natural products to treat this increasingly wide-spread condition.

Additionally, the oils given to the diabetic rats enhanced their sensitivity to the insulin doses they received to keep their glucose levels stable, meaning that they needed less insulin to achieve the same effect.

Our results suggest that combinations of various edible oils improve glucose metabolism in these diabetic rats, and may be important in the treatment of different forms of human diabetes as well as the high blood pressure that often accompanies it, Preuss said. We are encouraged by the results of this small study and plan to conduct more research to try to find new ways to treat diabetes with fewer side effects.

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Source: Georgetown University Medical Center