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White mulberry extracts “clearly relieve’ diabetes symptoms in rat model: Study

By Gary Scattergood+

Last updated on 27-Feb-2017 at 07:33 GMT2017-02-27T07:33:35Z

Fruit polysaccharides from white mulberry is a potential treatment for diabetes, say academics. ©iStock
Fruit polysaccharides from white mulberry is a potential treatment for diabetes, say academics. ©iStock

Two fractions of polysaccharides extracted from white mulberry (Morus alba L) have been found to relieve symptoms of diabetes in a study on rats.

The fruit of Morus alba L. is widely used as a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of diabetes, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia, and premature, as well as to protect the liver and kidneys.

Writing in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology , researchers from China said several studies have demonstrated that the aqueous extracts of the roots bark, leaves, and ramuli of mulberry, which are known to contain polyphenols and polysaccharides, have anti-hyperglycaemic and anti-hyperlipidaemic activities.

“The aim of the present study was to further investigate the active polysaccharides from M. alba fruit by evaluating the anti-diabetic activities of different fractions on [diabetic]-  rats and elucidate the mechanism underlying these activities,” they said.

They found that: “The M. alba fruit polysaccharides may potentially be utilized as an effective treatment for T2DM. Further research into the structures of active M. alba fruit polysaccharides and their mechanisms in promoting antidiabetic effects are underway.”

In the study, the disease models were induced by a high-fat diet and low dose injection of streptozotocin. The rats were then treated with two fractions of M. alba fruit polysaccharides (MFP50 and MFP90), and markers of diabetes were compared to normal rats and diabetic rats treated with the conventional medication metformin.

After seven weeks of treatment, a significant reduction in the majority of measurement levels were recorded across both groups.

Significant effects

The hypoglycaemic activity experiments of the M. alba fruit polysaccharides in the diabetic rats produced a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose levels compared to the [control] group.

“The MFP50 and MFP90 groups showed a 31.9% and 47.5% reduction respectively.”

Metformin, a common diabetes medication, reduced it by 55.4%.

“In summary, both MFP50 and MFP90 demonstrated significant effects in reducing fasting blood glucose, alleviating insulin resistance, and improving the ability of lipid metabolism.

“Interestingly, MFP50 also improved glycometabolism and insulin resistance…whereas MFP90 enhanced lipid metabolism. Moreover, MFP50 and MFP90 induced repair of damaged pancreatic tissues of the diabetic rats,” added the researchers.

They concluded that both MFP50 and MFP90 have markedly anti-hyperglycaemic and anti-hyperlipidaemic effects and can clearly relieve diabetes symptoms in the T2DM rat model.


Source: Journal of Ethnopharmacology

“Antidiabetic effects of Morus alba fruit polysaccharides on high-fat diet- and streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetes in rats”

Authors: Yukun Jiao , et al