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Life Sci. 2005 Nov 12;77(26):3344-54. Epub 2005 Jun 23.

Effects of dietary mulberry, Korean red ginseng, and banaba on glucose homeostasis in relation to PPAR-alpha, PPAR-gamma, and LPL mRNA expressions.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, 140-742, Korea.


Despite lack of scientific evidences to support its therapeutic efficacy, the use of herbal supplements has significantly increased. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of traditional anti-diabetic herbs on the progress of diabetes in db/db mice, a typical non-insulin-dependent model. Five different experimental diets were as follows: control diet, 0.5% mulberry leaf water extract diet, 0.5% Korean red ginseng diet, 0.5% banaba leaf water extract diet, and 0.5% combination diet (mulberry leaf water extract/Korean red ginseng/banaba leaf water extract, 1:1:1). Blood levels of glucose, insulin, HbA1c, and triglyceride were measured every 2 weeks. At 12 weeks of age, animals were sacrificed, and tissue mRNA levels of PPAR-alpha, PPAR-gamma, and LPL were determined. Results indicated that mulberry leaf water extract, Korean red ginseng, banaba leaf water extract, and the combination of above herbs effectively reduced blood glucose, insulin, TG, and percent HbA1c in study animals (p<0.05). We also observed that the increased expressions of liver PPAR-alpha mRNA and adipose tissue PPAR-gamma mRNA in animals fed diets supplemented with test herbs. The expression of liver LPL mRNA was also increased with experimental diets containing herbs. The efficacy was highest in animals fed the combination diet for all of the markers used. These results suggest that mulberry leaf water extract, Korean red ginseng, banaba leaf water extract, and the combination of these herbs fed at the level of 0.5% of the diet significantly increase insulin sensitivity, and improve hyperglycemia possibly through regulating PPAR-mediated lipid metabolism.

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