Rooibos lowers the risk of diabetes

Rooibos has the potential to delay and prevent the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to recent studies by the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and its research partners, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC, Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch), the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, the Polytechnic University of Marche based in Italy and the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan. Prof Christo Muller, Chief Specialist Scientist at the SAMRC, says diabetes is among the most prevalent lifestyle diseases, with about one in 14 South Africans between the ages of 21 and 79 suffering from the condition. Their research has found that an aspalathin-enriched extract of green Rooibos effectively lowered raised blood glucose levels in diabetic rats.

In a more recent study completed by Prof Muller and his team, Rooibos extract achieved significant glucose-lowering results in diabetic non-human primates, which has been described as a breakthrough discovery. These results will be published next year. Human trials have been earmarked for 2018.

Other research at the SAMRC show promising cardio-protective benefits of aspalathin in a diabetic heart model. Aspalathin is a unique phenolic compound found only in Rooibos.

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