Onion extract may lower blood sugar, cholesterol in diabetes

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Allium cepa, an extract found in onion bulbs, may be able to lower high blood glucose as well as total cholesterol levels in diabetes, according to a study presented at The Endocrine Society meeting in San Diego.

Investigators led by Anthony Ojieh, MD, of Delta State University in Nigeria conducted a study on rats with medically-induced diabetes, administering metformin and onion extract doses by varying doses based on body weight to three groups of rats.

They also administered the same type of treatment to three groups of rats without diabetes and normal blood sugar levels. Two final groups with and without diabetes received only metformin with no onion extract.

They found that two doses of the onion extract, at 400 and 600 mg/kg/day, greatly reduced fasting blood sugar levels in diabetic rats by 50 and 35 percent, respectively, compared with when they were not receiving the extract. Additionally, the diabetic rats undergoing these two dosages were found to have lower total cholesterol levels.

A histologic study of the pancreas that was removed from each of the diabetic rats showed that neither the metformin nor the onion extract had healed damage from the drug-induced diabetes.

“We need to investigate the mechanism by which onion brought about the blood glucose reduction,” Dr. Ojieh said. “We do not yet have an explanation.”

Some older adults with diabetes overtreated for their disease
Allium cepa, an extract found in onion bulbs, may be able to lower high blood glucose as well as total cholesterol levels in diabetes.
The extract of onion bulb, Allium cepa, strongly lowered high blood glucose (sugar) and total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats when given with the antidiabetic drug metformin, according to a new study. The study results will be presented Thursday at The Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.
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