By Wendy Lemeric on April 13 2015 1:03 PM
An herbal tea, with blueberry as the main ingredient, has caught the attention of researchers for its potential as a treatment for diabetes. Scientists at Menzies Institute in Hobart are trying to study the ability of blueberry tea in reducing insulin dependence.
Gerard Spicer is a diabetic who has been fighting type 2 diabetes mellitus for 13 years and is heavily dependent on insulin. Recently, he began drinking an herbal tea with blueberry base and observed this to be helping with his condition. The tea is a mixture of blueberry leaves and fruit, spearmint leaves, raspberry and cinnamon. This has sparked the interest of researchers at the Menzies Institute.
Michelle Keske, senior research fellow at the institute is studying the potential of blueberry tea in helping reduce a diabetic’s dependence on insulin. According to Keske, type 2 diabetes is difficult to treat, but pre-clinical trials have shown positive results. "The tea has enabled that hormone, insulin, to improve glucose uptake into muscle and by doing that it lowers blood glucose levels and it does that by stimulating blood flow," said Keske.
Finding treatment that act on blood flow stimulation can be hard, but Keske is positive about the blueberry tea and its potential. Blueberry is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols that she thinks would help with the blood flow stimulation.
Diabetes is a rapidly growing chronic condition. In Tasmania where population is estimated at more than 500,000 people, one fifth of the inhabitants is suffering from or has higher risk for diabetes. It is estimated that by year 2025, around 3 million Australians will develop the disease with type 2 as its most common form and unfortunately, there is no cure to the disease.
It has been established that blueberry offers several health benefits, but can the same thing be said for blueberry tea? Human trials are set to be conducted this year.
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