15 Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes
We live in an era when nature is being appreciated more than thirty or even fifty years ago. It seems like people have gone a long way from living with nature, to being absolutely isolated from everything natural, and finally, we came again to the point where we realize that nature has everything we need. But when it comes to treating more serious chronic diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, could it be that the cure is as close as our kitchen cupboards? Type 1 diabetes is one of the incurable diseases that affects millions of people worldwide. In this case, your body is not able to produce enough insulin because the beta cells within the pancreas are either destroyed or seriously impaired. It could be that the following natural substances can help our beta cells and our bodies to combat this vicious disease.
1. A 2007 study showed that the amino acid L-arginine is very capable of stimulating the genesis of beta cells. This study was conducted on an animal model of alloxan-induced diabetes. Arginine can be found in fish, chicken, beef, lamb, but also in chocolate, coconut, oats, wholewheat, peanuts and wheatgerm. By eating these foods, you are enhancing the amounts of arginine and you are supporting your beat cells to recover.
2. Avocado is so healthy, we should be saying “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away” until we all remember how beneficial it is for human health. Avocados are the only fruits that have monounsaturated fat, or in other words, the good fat. This fat can actually help boost HDL or good cholesterol and lower LDL, or bad cholesterol. This part is crucial for people with diabetes, because they are more likely to be affected by heart disease. Also, a 2007 study showed that avocado seed extract reduces blood sugar in diabetic rats.
3. Another study showed that berberine, a plant compound commonly found in herbs such as barberry and goldenseal, induces beta cell regeneration. However, berberine is not a substance that was discovered recently; it has been used for 1400 years in China to treat diabetes. This plant alkaloid, revered in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, seems to be on its way to become one of the most powerful natural therapies for preventing and treating type 1 diabetes.
4. One of the most important benefits of Swiss chard is its ability to regulate the blood sugar levels in human body. According to a 2000 study, chard extract stimulates the recovery of injured beta cells. To be more precise, syringic acid is one of the unique flavonoids found in Swiss chard, and this substance has the ability to inhibit the activity of alpha-glucosidase. In other words, less cards are broken down to simples sugars and the blood sugar levels in body remain stable.
5. A 2009 study found that corn silk reduces blood sugar and stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic cases. Corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber and minerals, so yes, it is pretty beneficial to human health. Corn silk also contains certain chemicals which work like water pills or diuretics- that’s why it is good for bladder problems, as well. Also, corn silk alters blood sugar levels and helps reduce inflammation.
6. There are certain studies that show that curcumin stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats. Treatment with curcumin led to significant delay of this disease and in some phases it even prevented autoimmune diabetes (type 1 diabetes) by inhibiting pancreatic leukocyte infiltration. Curcumin has actually been present in medical treatment for centuries, and Western researchers are finally investigating all the benefits this substance has.
7. Genistein is a substance found in soy and red clover and according to some researches, genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activating multiple signaling pathways and preventing insulin-deficient diabetes. Other studies are showing that genistein from red clover might even help blood pressure and insulin resistance in diabetics and osteoporosis in women. That’s why the researchers continue to conducts experiments in this field.
8. The diabetic diet is strictly controlled when it comes to sugar and mineral compounds intake. Therefore, it is not surprising that some of you might be shocked to see honey on this list. According to clinical studies, pure honey is a healthier choice than table sugar and other sweeteners such as Splenda, aspartame and saccharin. Honey actually requires lowers levels of insulin than regular white sugar. Also, honey doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as fast as table sugar because it has a lower Glycemic Index than sugar.
9. Black seeds are obtained from the pods of the kalanji (Nigella sativa), a plant native to Europe, Arabia and Europe. A 2003 animal study showed that by consuming black seed you are partially regenerating and proliferating the beta cells. After that, a 2010 human study also found that the consumption of one gram of black seed a day for 12 weeks has a lot of benefits when it comes to type 1 diabetes, including the increase of beta cell function.
10. A researcher from Brazil, published in 1986, found that taking stevia at 6 hour intervals over 3 days helped improve glucose tolerance. Another study from 2011 found that stevia actually has anti-diabetic properties, including reviving damaged beta cells. These studies are particularly welcomed by people who suffer from type 1 diabetes. It should be noted that this study was small (16 people participated in it). Therefore, consult your doctor before taking anything from this list.
11. Garlic is also known as allium sativum, and we all know it for its wide range of health benefits. Garlic also has antioxidant properties and micro-circulatory effects on human health. There have been a few studies that directly linked garlic with insulin and blood glucose levels and the results have been positive. Allium may reduce blood glucose but may also increase secretion and slow the degradation of insulin.
12. You may know coccinia indica as the ivy gourd. This amazing plant grows across the Indian subcontinent, and it is traditionally used in ayurverdic remedies. Also, ivy gourd is found to have insulin-mimetic properties. In other words- it mimics the function of insulin. Significant changes glycaemic control have been reported in studies that involve coccinia indica. According to many experts, it should be studied further for more results in this field.
13. Fig-leaf or ficus carica is famous for being a natural diabetic remedy in Spain and generally Southwestern Europe. However, its active components are still unknown! According to some studies on animals, fig-leaves facilitate glucose uptake. Even though it is pretty unknown how fig-leaves help people beat type 1 diabetes, its efficacy is yet to be validated in studies performed on humans. Researchers suggest that future study results may help people cure this disease for good.
14. In case you didn’t know, ginseng is a collective name for a variety of different plant species. These varieties include Korean ginseng, Siberian ginseng, American ginseng and Japanese ginseng. American ginseng has been used in some studies, and it showed a decrease in fasting blood glucose. It has been reported that some fields of the plant, especially the panax species, are hailed as cure-all. Researchers continue to explore these species, therefore we expect more news from this field.
15. Opuntia streptacantha or nopal is also known as the prickly-pear cactus in the arid regions. Inhabitants of the Mexican desert traditionally use the plant in glucose control. Intestinal glucose uptake is affected by this plant and according to animal studies, there has been a significant decrease in postprandial glucose and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin). However, long-term clinical studies are needed in order to find the exact benefits of this plant in type 1 diabetes cases.