Hyperglycemia, caused by impaired insulin secretion or insulin action or both, characterises the chronic disease known as diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes has been considered one of the major health problems worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 500 million people are suffering from diabetes worldwide and this number will increase to 643 million by 2030 (1). It has been revealed that diabetes mellitus causes about 6.7 million deaths in 2021 (2) The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasing worldwide and it is estimated that about 90% of all diabetic patients have type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is caused by several factors including genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices (3).
Diabetic patients suffer from several complications such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), neuropathy, and retinopathy which lead to increased morbidity and mortality. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death among diabetic patients due to their high prevalence among them. In addition, cardiovascular diseases are associated with higher mortality rates in diabetic patients compared to non-diabetic patients with CVDs.
The good news is that there are many natural treatments for diabetes out there that can help you manage your symptoms and prevent long-term complications, like heart disease and kidney failure. One of these treatments is called Piper umbellatum L. and Persea americana Mill, more commonly known as the avocado plant. This plant has been used for centuries in India to treat various health conditions such as diabetes, fever, asthma, and even cancer!
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how this plant can help treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels while also improving overall health.
A Study on Piper umbellatum L. Leaf Methanol Extract and Persea americana Mill as An Anti-Diabetic Agent
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insufficient insulin production or insulin action. In Cameroon, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus has been reported to be 1.5%. The treatment of diabetes mellitus can be achieved through lifestyle modifications and pharmacological interventions. To date, there is no specific drug for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
The leaves of Piper umbellatum L. and Persea americana Mill (Piperaceae) are traditionally used in Cameroon against diabetes. But, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
In this study, researchers sought to determine whether methanolic leaf extracts from Piper umbellatum L. and Persea americana Mill (P. americana), both traditionally used in Cameroon against diabetes, had any antidiabetic properties. It was found that these extracts inhibited α -glucosidase, β -glucosidase, maltase-glucoamylase, aldose reductase, and aldehyde reductase activities—enzymes involved in starch digestion or diabetic complications. Furthermore, the extracts were found to be more active against sensitive enzymes than β -glucosidase. From gas chromatography-mass spectrum analysis of the extracts, 10 and 8 compounds were identified in Piper umbellatum L. and P. americana respectively.
The researchers from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan found that both plants showed strong inhibitory activity against α -glucosidase and maltase-glucoamylase but not so much against β -glucosidase. The results suggest that these plants could be used as natural alternatives for treating diabetes mellitus in humans without any side effects on health conditions such as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia associated with conventional medication such as metformin.