By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: One may find it hard to connect garlic with
increasing the efficiency of insulin, but research by a team of
scientists from the city-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
has revealed that raw garlic is the best natural medicine for type 2
Regular intake of raw garlic cloves will help in not only improving
insulin sensitivity but also attenuating metabolic syndrome. Metabolic
syndrome relates to health problems like obesity, decreased power of
insulin and those related to the heart. Raw garlic will thus also help
in bringing down one's body weight.
"Our work is interesting as it recommends diabetics to consume raw
garlic to reduce insulin resistance," says Dr Sanjay K Banerjee,
scientist, Division of Pharmacology, Indian Institute of Chemical
Stating that type 2 diabetes mellitus, characterised by peripheral
insulin resistance, is a major lifestyle disorder of the 21st century,
Dr Sanjay said it is for the first time that studies have been
conducted to evaluate the effect of raw garlic on insulin resistance
or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Earlier, raw garlic has been reported to
reduce plasma glucose levels in animal models of type 1 diabetes
Dr Sanjay said the hypoglycemic (lowering sugar level) effect of
garlic is due to the presence of allicin and sulphur compounds. The
IICT-CSIR study showed that reduction of body weight gain after
garlic consumption could be responsible for improving insulin
sensitivity in type 2 diabetes.
"Raw garlic homogenate (grounded and mixed) has been the major
preparation of garlic subjected to intensive scientific study, as
because it is the commonest way of garlic consumption. Our study
demonstrates that raw garlic homogenate is effective in improving
insulin sensitivity while attenuating metabolic syndrome and oxidative
stress," he pointed out.
Dr Sanjay's team comprised Raju Padiya, Tarak N Khatua, Pankaj K Bagul
and Madhusudana Kuncha. They selected male Sprague Dawley rats and
divided into three groups. One of the groups was fed with fructose as
well as raw garlic for eight weeks. The rats fed with raw garlic
showed significantly reduced serum glucose, insulin, triglyceride and
uric acid levels, as well as insulin resistance.
Allicin is the major bioactive compound in raw garlic paste. When
garlic is chopped or crushed, allinase enzyme, present in garlic, is
activated and acts on alliin (present in intact garlic) to produce
allicin. For best results one should take raw garlic as cooking it
will inactivate the enzyme that converts alliin to allicin. However,
garlic power can be used.
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