Diabetes is a common condition that affects over thirty million Americans. There are ways to keep it under control when already diagnosed. Insulin shots, pills, cell transplants, dieting, exercise, etc. But why not take the necessary precautions to prevent it? There are multiple ways to keep your body healthy. However, I bet you didn't know that avocado leaves could be one. Yes, the leaves.
Many plants are considered a basic source of powerful antidiabetic medications. In developing countries, particularly medicinal plants deal with diabetes and exceed the burden of traditional drugs to the population. Recently, it is recommended to treat diseases such as diabetic containing diabetes using medicinal plants, which including bioactive compounds, flavonoids, terpenoids, saponins, carotenoids, alkaloids, glycolic, etc. act as anti-diabetic agents. Natural products of plant origin are rich in bioactive compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial activity.
Avocado/Avocado Leaf potential for type 2 diabetic patients
In March 2022 a group of specialists in biochemistry, biotech and medicinal plant research released a study in the Saudi Journal of Biological Studies on the therapeutic potential in type 2 diabetes patients. The following introduction explains the premise of the study:
The use of natural extracts with pharmacological activity has gained great interest because they have therapeutic potential in treatment of different diseases with low side effects. Hyperglycemia increases the production of different active free radicals, which results in diabetic complications, such as oxidative damage of tissue and nephropathy, nethropathy, retinopathy, and memory disorder. Abnormal blood sugar levels are a symptom of diabetes, This is due to the immune system inability to create enough insulin. Hyperglycemia occurs after feeding because of starch hydrolyzes by α-amylase and α-glucosidase to large amounts of glucose. The intestinal enzymes must be inhibited to treat type 2 diabetes. Glucosidase is a one of digestive enzymes that degrade dietetic carbohydrates in simple monosaccharides. Glucosidase inhibitors, such as acarbose, reduce the speed of carbohydrate digestion and delays the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract. Therefore, they can prevent the start of type 2 diabetes by reducing the level of postprandial glucose.
Avocado, also known as Persea americana Mil is subtropical/tropical fruit. It has become very popular recently and is often sold as a “superfood” due to its unique nutritional content, phytochemical composition, and health benefits. Avocado leaves are a medicinal herb that are commonly utilized in extract formulations for therapeutic purposes as well as in folk medicine as a tea. This could be because of its diuretic characteristics. Rhamnetin, luteolin, rutin, quercetin, and apigenin are phytochemicals extracted from avocado leaves that can inhibit the progression of oxidative stress-related disorders.
This prospective study was designed to investigate the bioactive compounds included phenolic and flavonoids in avocado extracts by LC/MS, detecting their activities; antioxidant activity, and α-amylase. Aiming to provide more results about biochemical structure of avocado extracts and study of the effect of these extracts as hypoglycemic agent.”
In Layman's Terms
Their study aimed to evaluate the polyphenols content in liquid extracts of both the avocado fruit and leaves (Persea americana Mill) Avocado leaves are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols. These are some key compounds when it comes to detoxing and protecting your system.
Now, you may not entirely know how antioxidants, flavonoids or polyphenols affect the body. Let’s backtrack for a moment and explain that in simple terms. Flavonoids help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body. This means that their purpose is to fight off stressors and toxins and not allow them to circulate through your body as they naturally would have. Antioxidants perform similarly by protecting the body from harmful components such as free radicals and speed up the process of detoxification to protect your cells from damage or harm.
Polyphenols protect the body's tissues against oxidative stress and associated pathologies such as cancers, coronary heart disease and inflammation by acting as its own antioxidant, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Both the fruit & leaves were dried in an oven for over five hours in order to completely dry out the substances. The resulting powder was then mixed with 10900mL of ethanol and was filtered through a paper. This is the process of receiving pure extract. Although both the fruit and extract contain polyphenol & flavonoids the leaves reported significantly more than the fruit.
“The general clarification of this study was LC/MS, antioxidants, total phenols, and total ethanol extract flavonoids, from avocado extracts, which made its application as an antidiabetic agent credible. In the treatment of diabetes, it is very important to highly use affinity plant inhibitors to regulate the activity of α-amylase. It promotes the use of a therapeutically significant natural plant because of its availability and relative safety."