Health benefits of onions for type 2 diabetes patients - Scientists

In a study presented at the Endocrine Society's 97th Annual meeting, findings from the research indicate that onions have potential to reduce sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes patients by 50 percent.

Health benefits of onions for type 2 diabetes patients - Scientists

The lead author of the study, Anthony Ojieh of Delta State University in Abraka, Nigeria, noted that vegetable is an affordable and accessible nutritional additive that can be used to treat diabetic patients.

“Onion is cheap and available and has been used as a nutritional supplement. It has the potential for use in treating patients with diabetes,” Ojieh said.

He revealed that using the extract of an onion bulb alongside the antidiabetic drug metformin has a compound effect on lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

For the study, the researchers divided into three groups the medically induced diabetes. Each group was given different doses of onion extract from an onion bulb to see if it would enhance metformin.

The extract was administered in doses of 200mg, 400mg, and 600mg per kilogram of the rat's body weight.

The researchers also gave three groups of non-diabetic rats with normal blood sugar metformin and the onion extract.

It was discovered that of the three groups of diabetic rats, the group that got 400mg per kilogram of body weight had reduced blood sugar levels by 50 percent and those that got 600mg per kilogram of body weight had reduced blood sugar levels by 35 percent.

The diabetic groups that got 400mg and 600mg also had the greatest lowered cholesterol levels.

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

However, the study discovered that the extract caused weight gain in the non-diabetic rats but not in the diabetic rats.

Ojieh said that this was brought about by the increase in the metabolic rate which then resulted in an increase in appetite. “Onion is not high in calories,” Ojieh explained.

Increase in appetite led to an increase in feeding which brought on the weight.

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