Chamomile Tea 'may ease diabetes' by BBC News
Drinking chamomile tea daily may help prevent the
complications of type 2 diabetes, such as loss of vision and nerve
and kidney damage, a study says.
UK and Japanese researchers fed a chamomile extract to diabetic
The extract appeared to cut blood sugar levels and block
activity of an enzyme associated with the development of diabetic
Charity Diabetes UK cautioned against patients acting on the
findings until further research had been carried out.
However, researchers say the Journal of Agricultural and Food
Chemistry study raises hope of a new anti-diabetes drug.
|| More research
would be needed before we can come to any firm conclusions about
the role chamomile tea plays in fighting diabetes-related
Dr Victoria King
Cases of type 2 diabetes, many of which are linked to obesity,
are on the increase throughout the developed world.
Chamomile, also known as manzanilla, has been used for years as
a medicinal cure-all to treat a variety of medical problems
including stress, colds and menstrual cramps.
Researchers from University of Toyama, led by Atsushi Kato, fed
chamomile extract to a group of diabetic rats for 21 days and
compared the results with a group of control animals on a normal
Blood glucose levels - high levels of which are a sign of
diabetes - were significantly lower in the animals fed the extract,
which appeared to inhibit production of the sugar in the liver.
Tests also showed reduced activity of an enzyme called aldose
reductase in tissue samples from the extract group.
This enzyme helps change glucose into a sugar alcohol called
In people with type 2 diabetes, the activity of aldose reductase
increases as glucose levels rise in the blood.
However, sorbitol does not move easily across cell membranes and
it can collect in excess quantity, particularly in eye and nerve
cells, where it can cause serious damage.
Dr Victoria King, of the charity Diabetes UK, said: "More
research would be needed before we can come to any firm conclusions
about the role chamomile tea plays in fighting diabetes-related
"Diabetes UK wouldn't recommend people with diabetes increase
their chamomile tea intake just yet.
"Eating a healthy balanced diet, taking regular physical
activity and adhering to any prescribed medicines remain key ways
to effectively control blood glucose levels, blood pressure and
"Good diabetes management will help reduce the risk of serious
complications such as heart disease, stroke and blindness."
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