While there are many natural lifestyle changes that Type 2 diabetics can make to treat their condition, natural options for Type 1 diabetics whose pancreatic beta cells produce no insulin at all to regulate their blood sugars has historically been more limited.
However, research in the last ten years or so has come to light whose preliminary results show that there might be natural ways for Type 1 diabetics to manage their condition as well. Below are ten natural substances which may hold the answer to finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
L-arginine is an amino acid and a popular supplement that is widely available in health food stores. In a 2007 study, it was found that this amino acid was capable of helping beta cells to regenerate in laboratory animals.
This superfood is not only great for heart health and weight loss: a study using avocado seed extract on laboratory rats found that it was able to reduce their blood sugar levels and also had a positive effect on the islet cells of the pancreas where insulin is produced.
Berberine is a bioactive compound found in many plants such as goldenseal and barberry and has a history of medicinal use going back at least 1400 years. In one study in 2009, it was found the berberine was able to regenerate beta cells in the pancreas of laboratory animals.
This leafy green vegetable is, like avocado, also considered a superfood because of its high nutrient value and when its extract was given to rats with injured beta cells, it was able to spur on their recovery.
Most people simply throw corn silk away after shucking an ear of corn, but it too has medicinal and nutritional value. In a 2009 study, it was found that the corn silk helped to promote the regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas and normalize the blood sugar of mice with Type 1 diabetes.
In addition to its many other health benefits, research has also shown that curcumin helps improve the survival of islet cells in the pancreas and another study found that it also can aid the regeneration of pancreatic beta cells.
This compound, found in soy and red clover among other things, activates multiple pathways by which beta cells can proliferate in the pancreas and has also been shown to help prevent diabetes in laboratory animals.
While it sounds strange that a natural sweetener like honey could help with diabetes, it has been found that long-term consumption of honey may help Type 1 diabetics with their metabolic problems and also help regenerate beta cells.
A human study from 2010 found that Type 1 diabetics who consumed one gram of black seed daily for three months showed increased beta cells function.
This natural sweetener was the subject of a human study done 2011 which found that stevia has many anti-diabetic properties, including the apparent ability to help repair damaged beta cells.
While more research needs to be done on several of the potential natural therapies, preliminary results are at least hopeful and there is a good possibility that one or more of the line of inquiry discussed above might yield nature-based Type 1 diabetes treatments in the future.
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