5:13 am - Thursday November 5, 2015

Myth or fact: Is Hibiscus the new drug to cure diabetes naturally?

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New Delhi: Diabetes has become a common disease these days just like any other whacky flu, cough and cold. Life is certainly not easy for a diabetic as one has to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout, since there is no cure for the disease.

Offering a new hope to diabetics, researchers at Assam’s Tezpur University and West Bengal’s Visva-Bharati University have derived that natural extracts from a particular species of the hibiscus plant can help in curing diabetes.

Researchers collected samples of hibiscus leaves from North-East region and conducted tests on diabetic rats. The results showed that a phytochemical (plant-derived compound) from the leaves of Sthalpadma or land-lotus (scientifically known as Hibiscus mutabilis and commonly called Confederate rose) restore insulin levels better.

Samir Bhattacharya, emeritus professor, School of Life Sciences (Zoology Department) at Visva-Bharati in Shantiniketan was quoted saying to a news agency: “We found that ferulic acid (FRL), belonging to the polyphenols, extracted from leaves of the plant, has the potential to be a better therapeutic agent for diabetes”.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 346 million people worldwide with diabetes, with more than 80% of deaths occurring in developing countries. India has nearly 63 million diabetic patients, with the situation becoming grimmer mainly because of the sedentary lifestyle prevailing across key metros and big cities aggravating the situation. According to a study conducted by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the number of Indians suffering from this malicious disease is expected to cross the 100 million mark by 2030.

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