Raspberry offers promising treatment alternative in diabetes, clogged arteries, study finds

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Rajeev Choudhury

Raspberry can be a natural alternative to drug-based treatments for diabetes and blood lipid imbalance that lead to the formation of plaques in the arteries,  due to the abundance of different active compounds that has the hypoglycemic and lipid-lowering capacity, a recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food has reported.


The study led by Norma Pin˜a-Contreras of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, says that the hypoglycemic and lipid-lowering effects of raspberry can mainly be attributed to the presence of polyphenols in abundant quantity in the fruit.

Polyphenols are naturally occurring organic compounds found abundantly in plants and contain multiple phenol units, including cyaniding, which is found in red fruits and berries, the researchers say.

Emphasising that the processing techniques used for preservation of raspberries play an important role in the preservation of the inherent nutrient value, the researchers said that when the fruit is eaten in the form of juice, puree, and bread or preservation methods such as freeze-dried form is shown to have increase regulation of glucose concentrations and some serum lipids.

Referring to animal studies the researchers said that lyophilized raspberry added to the diet of rodents have shown to result in increased insulin receptor activity, improving tissue sensitivity, reducing its requirements, and stabilizing blood glucose levels.

“Similarly, positive results have been reported in the regulation of cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels, as well as inflammation and oxidative stress markers; however, no significant changes have been reported in triglyceride levels,” the researchers of the study noted.

Anthocyanins in raspberries stimulate insulin secretion and protect pancreatic b cells, which is why they may have favourable effects on type 2 diabetes, they said.

“Studies with rodents induced to dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia have revealed that after the consumption of anthocyanins extracted from the raspberry fruit, insulin resistance was considerably reduced; in the same way, the levels of triglyceride, cholesterol, LDL, as well as inflammation and oxidative stress markers, were reduced,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

“In vitro, anthocyanins inhibit PTP1B enzyme activity, the active form of which participates in the insulin resistance mechanism,” they further wrote.

However, compounds extracted from the raspberry seed oil did not show any hypoglycemic effect; though they did reduce cholesterol concentrations and regulate prooxidant enzyme activity, the researchers noted.

“The evidence reviewed in the present work confirms that raspberry can be a natural alternative to pharmacological treatments for hyperglycemia and dyslipidemias, as it presents different bioactive compounds with hypoglycemic and lipid-lowering capacity, the paper concluded.


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