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   Jan 17

Chinese herbal medicine slows the development of type 2 diabetes, study claims

Researchers found mixture of 10 herbs called Tianqi prevented people with pre-diabetes – slightly elevated blood glucose levels – developing disease

People who are pre-diabetic face a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke

Traditional Chinese herbal medicines can stave off the onset of diabetes, a new study has revealed.

A clinical trial found herbs were comparable to prescriptions for controlling pre-diabetes.

Traditional Chinese herbal medicines can stave off the onset of type 2 diabetes, new research has revealed

Researchers say their findings show traditional Chinese herbal medicines hold promise for slowing the progression from pre-diabetes to an official diabetes diagnosis.

Pre-diabetes is diagnosed when a person has developed elevated blood sugar levels, but glucose levels have not yet risen to the point of developing type 2 diabetes.

People who are pre-diabetic face a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke.

One of the study’s authors, Doctor Chun-Su Yuan, of the University of Chicago, said: ‘With diabetes evolving into a serious public health burden worldwide, it is crucial to take steps to stem the flood of cases.

‘Patients often struggle to make the necessary lifestyle changes to control blood sugar levels, and current medications have limitations and can have adverse gastrointestinal side effects.

‘Traditional Chinese herbs may offer a new option for managing blood sugar levels, either alone or in combination with other treatments.’

During the trial, 389 people at 11 research sites in China were randomly assigned to take either a capsule containing a mixture of 10 Chinese herbal medicines or a placebo.

For a year, they took capsules of either the Chinese herb mixture, called Tianqi, or the placebo three times a day before meals.

All the participants received a month of lifestyle education at the outset of the trial and met with nutritionists several times during the course of the study.

Their glucose tolerance was measured on a quarterly basis.

At the end of the trial, 36 participants in the Tianqi group and 56 in the placebo group had developed diabetes.

The analysis found taking Tianqi reduced the risk of diabetes by 32.1 per cent compared with the placebo, after adjusting for age and gender.

A trial found the Chinese herbs were comparable to prescription medications for controlling pre-diabetes

The overall reduction in risk was comparable to that found in studies of diabetes medications acarbose and metformin, and study participants reported few side effects from the Tianqi herbs.

Tianqi includes several herbs that have been shown to lower blood glucose levels and improve control of blood glucose levels after meals.

One of the study’s lead authors, Doctor Xiaolin Tong, of Guang’anmen Hospital in Beijing, China, said: ‘Few controlled clinical trials have examined traditional Chinese medicine’s impact on diabetes, and the findings from our study showed this approach can be very useful in slowing the disease’s progression.

‘More research is needed to evaluate the role Chinese herbal medicine can play in preventing and controlling diabetes.’

The study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).

Source: Daily Mail

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