The study is recently published by the Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Rats induced to have diabetes and hypertension were given an an aqueous extract of garlic (500 mg/kg IP daily) for 3 weeks.
As a result, the blood antioxidant levels of these rats after 3 weeks of treatment were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the pretreatment levels in both diabetic and hypertensive rats. The increased serum antioxidant levels were paralleled by a decrease in serum glucose in the garlic-treated diabetic rats and lowered systolic blood pressure in the garlic-treated hypertensive rats.
What is the importance of antioxidants? Oxidative stress, an excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) above the body’s antioxidant capacity, has been implicated in the development of many pathophysiological conditions including hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis and cancer, as well as the process of aging.
ROS are normal products of cellular metabolism which are usually removed by endogenous antioxidants. However, it has become increasingly clear that overproduction of ROS can lead to a damaging cycle of lipid peroxidation, depletion of natural antioxidants such as glutathione, perturbation of nitric oxide production and disruption of normal cellular metabolism. These changes have been shown to cause damage to cell membranes and in particular can cause endothelial dysfunction.
During the last decade, it has become increasingly evident that many chronic diseases are accompanied by increased levels of oxidative stress exacerbated by decreased antioxidant levels. These observations have precipitated much interest in study of the correlations between oxidative stress, antioxidant potential and development of chronic diseases in both humans and animal models. Of particular interest are the correlations between oxidative stress and development of diabetes and hypertension.
The researchers conclude that treatment of diabetic rats with garlic resulted in significantly increased antioxidant and lowered glucose levels compared to untreated diabetic animals.
CM NEWS – Turmeric, an Asian spice found in many curries, has a long history of use in reducing inflammation, healing wounds and relieving pain. And now, it might be able to prevent diabetes, or even obesity. Read more
February 17, 2008
Filed under diabetes
NIH release – Diabetes is known to impair the cognitive health of people, but now scientists have identified one potential mechanism underlying these learning and memory problems. Read more
(Editor’s note: This is not a news article related to TCM. But I’d like to include it here because of its importance. I intend to include drug warnings from time to time.)
AP – The diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos will be labelled with severe warnings about a risk of heart failure to some patients, health officials in the United States said Tuesday. Read more