Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

Type 2 diabetes: The exotic fruit that could help keep your blood sugar levels in check

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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Jackfruit shows exciting results in controlling type 2 diabetes, according to a joint study at the Government Medical College and Chellaram Diabetes Institute.

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high.

It can also increase your risk of getting serious problems with your eyes, heart and nerves.

It is a lifelong condition that can affect your everyday life. You may need to change your diet, take medicines and have regular check-ups.

According to the NHS, type 2 diabetes is caused by problems with a hormone called insulin. It is often linked to being overweight or inactive, or having a family history of type 2 diabetes.

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired

According to doctor Gopal Rao and doctor A G Unnikrishnan, co-authors of the study, jackfruit has shown significantly promising results in controlling diabetes in Indian adult patients, as per the findings of the study.

The study examined 40 patients with type 2 diabetes. 30 grams of jackfruit powder was mixed with their food for three months.

Results revealed that the patient’s blood sugar levels decreased, along with a significant reduction in HbA1c glucose levels.

Some patients also reported a healthy weight loss.

“These findings backed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) can be significant in the way diabetes is managed, especially in a country like India where a variety of food choices are available,” said Dr Rao.

Whilst the clinical profile and pattern of type 2 diabetes is different in the Indian population compared to the UK, over 30 percent of patients with diabetes in India are reported to not fall in the obese category.

The report concluded that: “The south Asian population has a higher risk of diabetes in low BMI and dietary interventions that achieve normoglycemia without weight loss may also be important.

“A significant reduction in HbA1c level was observed, without significant reduction in weight.”

“Jackfruit flour can be useful in such a population with diabetes for improving a glycemic control without weight loss,” the report confirmed.

A separate study emphasised that the anti-diabetic and anti-obese effects of jackfruit are clearly understudied but recent results are promising.

Further large scale and defined basic and clinical studies are critical to determine optimal dietary regimens to achieve the desired beneficial health effects.

Furthermore, components of exotic fruits are clearly attractive targets for the scientific community to develop new anti-diabetic and anti-obese compounds for future treatment and prevention of these life-threatening diseases.

According to the NHS, you’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Are over 40 (or 25 for south Asian people)
  • Have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK)

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