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atural Medicine Research
 

Stevia Helps Pancreas Release Insulin - Helpful for Diabetics

© Ray Sahelian MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Natural Medicine Research by Ray Sahelian MD. View all columns in series
The natural sweetener stevioside, which is found in the plant stevia, has been used for many years in the treatment of diabetes among Indians in Paraguay and Brazil. However, the mechanism for the blood glucose-lowering effect remains unknown. A study conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, found that stevioside enhances insulin secretion from mouse pancreatic islets in the presence of glucose. The researchers state, "Stevioside stimulates insulin secretion via a direct action on pancreatic beta cells. The results indicate that the compounds may have a potential role as an anti-hyperglycemic agent in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus."

Ray Sahelian, M.D., co-author with Donna Gates of The Stevia Cookbook (Avery/Penguin, 1999), says, "Stevia is a wonderful alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners for those who have diabetes. This study gives us one more reason to recommend diabetics take advantage of this safe, non-calorie herbal sweetener."

Reference: Jeppesen PB, et al. Stevioside acts directly on pancreatic beta cells to secrete insulin. Metabolism 2000 Feb;49(2):208-14. Website: www.raysahelian.com

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About The Author
Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He is the bestselling author of Mind Boosters, Natural Sex Boosters, and ...more
 
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