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Encrypted Indian herbal medicine can reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic mice


Excerpts from the grass Withania coagulants, or Paneer dodi, are used in traditional Indian medicine. Although some healers claim this W. coagulans can help treat diabetes, the flavored plant has not been studied extensively by scientists. Now researchers have found that herbal extracts packaged in polymers derived from natural substances can reduce blood glucose in diabetic mice. They report their findings in ACS Omega.

Alternative medicines are becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of chronic disease, mainly because of people's perception that herbal medicines are less toxic and have fewer side effects. However, this is not always the case, and even so-called "natural" therapies need to be carefully tested for efficacy, dose-related toxicity, and interactions with other drugs. In addition, scientists must find ways to effectively deliver the drugs into the body in controlled ways. Many plant extracts, e.g. W. coagulans, are bitter and unjustifiable at the doses needed to have beneficial effects. Also, when taken orally, the medicinal components in plant extracts are often destroyed by the acidic conditions of the stomach. That's why Say Chye Joachim Loo and colleagues wanted to find a way to encapsulate W. coagulans extraction in a delivery system based on natural components that could safely transport the extra to the small intestine where the cargo would be released and absorbed.

From the berries of W. coagulans, the team extracted plant steroid compounds that increased insulin secretion by mouse pancreatic cells in a plateau. The researchers encapsulated the steroids in chitosan nanoparticles made of shell exoskeletons and coated the particles with starch, which delayed release of the herbal from acidic conditions. Finally, diabetic mice that were fed the nanoparticles for 5 days showed about 40% lower blood glucose levels compared to their initial amounts. Surprisingly, even 5 days after treatment was completed, the mice showed a 60% reduction in blood glucose compared to their baseline levels. This effect could stem from the ability of the delivery system to extend the release of extraction over an extended period, the researchers say.


American Chemical Society

Reference journal reference:

Sampathkumar, K. et al. (2019) Small Intestine-Specific Delivery of Antidiabetic Extracts of Withania Coagulants Using Polysaccharide-Based Enteric-Cube Nanoparticles. ACS Omega.

Posted in: Medical Science News | Medical Research News | News about medical condition

Tags: Blood, chitosan, diabetes, drugs, education, efficacy, glucose, insulin, medicine, nanoparticles, polymers, research, small intestine, steroid, stomach

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