Thursday, September 30, 2010

Other Plant Foods with Insulin-Like Activity

Other Plant Foods with Insulin-Like Activity

In all the focus on cinnamon, it is generally overlooked that while cinnamon had the most insulin-like activity of any plant food tested, it was hardly the only plant food that seemed to act in the body the same way as insulin. Allspice, bay leaf, brewer's yeast, cloves, nutmeg, witch hazel, green tea, black tea, and certain mushrooms all were found to have the same effect on fat cells in the test tube. They contained compounds that acted in the same way as insulin.

Robert can take the story a bit farther. Some years ago Robert was privilege to work for a genuine rain forest explorer who had isolated a tropical plant that contained a high concentration of "plant insulin." Robert volunteered to drink a cup of tea made with the herb, and promptly went into hypoglycemic shock. Fortunately, he had glucose at the ready. Robert vowed never to do such a silly thing again. And to keep others from doing such a thing, he also vows not to reveal the name of the herb (unless it ever reaches the market).

Don't be the first person to test an herb for blood sugar control. Use products that have already been tested on real people under medical supervision. Cinnamon, as we will discuss in our next post, is such a product, but allspice, bay leaf, brewer's yeast, cloves, nutmeg, witch hazel and tea, at least as a blood sugar treatment, are not.

Selected Reference:

Broadhurst CL, Polansky MM, Anderson RA. Insulin-like biological activity of culinary and medicinal plant aqueous extracts in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Mar;48(3):849-52.

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