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Pumpkins for Insulin Shots?

Posted on January 16, 2022 | No Comments on Pumpkins for Insulin Shots?

Extracts from pumpkin could replace or reduce the need for insulin injections for diabetics, according to a study published in the journal Chemistry and Industry. Chinese scientists have discovered that pumpkin extracts promote regeneration of damaged pancreatic cells in type 1 diabetic rats, thereby boosting the rats’ levels of insulin-producing beta cells and insulin in the blood. “Pumpkin extract is potentially a very good product for pre-diabetic persons, as well as those who have already developed diabetes,” said research leader Tao Xia of the East China Normal University.

Results showed that levels of blood sugar regulating hormones were increased by 36 percent and that the rats’ blood glucose levels were similar to those of non-diabetic rats at the end of the study. Findings also showed that the insulin-producing cells in the diabetic rats increased by 59 percent, compared to 21 percent before being fed with the pumpkin extract.The antioxidant effects of the pumpkin also suggested its pancreas-preserving effects.

However, researchers said that insulin injections would probably still be needed, but using the extract would greatly reduce the amount of insulin that would be needed. David Bender of the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London said that the research is an exciting breakthrough since pumpkin extracts could be developed into something that can be taken orally. He suggested however that more studies should be done before pumpkin extract could be considered as a treatment for — or for the prevention of — diabetes.

The protective effect of pumpkin is attributed to antioxidants and D-chiroinositol, a molecule that mediates insulin sensitivity.

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