Liquorice Root Provides Diabetes Help

by Mark Benson on April 20, 2012

New source for diabetes meds

Liquorice root is the main ingredient for liquorice candy. It is able to calm the stomach and alleviate conditions of the nasal, throat and lung pathways. It has been chosen as the “Medicinal Plant of 2012” and has been hailed as a medicinal plant all throughout history.

Now, researchers for Molecular Genetics of the Max Planck Institute of Berlin have found that liquorice root also contains substances that provides an anti-diabetic effect. These compounds are called amorfrutins and it helps reduce blood sugar as well as perform anti-inflammatory functions. The body is able to tolerate these chemicals with ease allowing for it possible use in treatments of many metabolic illnesses such as diabetes.

Other natural substances found in liquorice root includes Glycyrrhiza, which is able to provide the alleviation of airway disorders together with some other digestive issues. The root has been used as traditional healing aids and is often taken in liquid form as tea.

Study lead Sacha Sauer from the Max Planck Institute and team of researchers have found that the plant from the papilionaceae or legume family is effective in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. The natural substances identified that provide this are the amorfrutins, plentiful in the edible root area of the plant. These compounds can also be found in the Amora Fruticosa bush fruit. These plants are native to the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The researchers were able to prove these effects using diabetic mice where the compounds were introduced into their system. The effect was the reduction of their blood sugar levels, there was also a clear anti-inflammatory effect on the mice. Another effect was the prevention of the development of a fatty liver, which is common when the diet is rich in fat and protein.

According to Sascha Sauer, “The health beneficial effects are based on the fact that the amorfrutin molecules dock directly onto a receptor in the nucleus called PPARy.” PPARy plays a major role in the cellular metabolism of fat and glucose. When amorfrutin molecules bind with the cell, it activates many various genes that reduce the plasma concentration of fatty acids and glucose. This in turn reduces the glucose levels and prevents the development of insulin resistance, the main cause of adult diabetes.

“Although there are already drugs on the market that affect the PPARy receptor, they are not selective enough in their effect and cause side effects like weight gain and cardiovascular problems”, according to Sauer. “However, drinking liquorice tea or eating liquorice will not help to treat diabetes. The concentration fo the substances in the tea and liquorice is far too low to be effective.”

Now, the researchers have developed specialized extraction processes to obtain the amorfrutins from the plant in the proper concentrations. This would allow the production of industrial scale amorfrutin extract. This would allow for a wide range of applications, from nutritional supplements and even active ingredient diabetes medication.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Efrem Berhan May 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

This is very important news and I want really to try myself, and I wish you have some information where I can order the plants.

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