Research scientists say, they have found a common vegetable that can lower high blood sugar levels by a whooping 50 per cent. That is in addition to its ability to reduce cholesterol levels even more dramatically.
According to findings made available at The Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego on Thursday, August 25, extract of an onion bulb can “strongly lower” high blood sugar and total cholesterol levels when given alongside antidiabetic drug metformin.
Lead research study author, Anthony Ojieh of Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria, concluded that onion, a cheap kitchen item, known for its nutritional value, now comes in handy as a potential treatment for diabetes.
“Onion is cheap and available and has been used as a nutritional supplement. It has the potential for use in treating patients with diabetes.”
For the research, the team administered various doses of onion extract on three groups of rat, medically induced with diabetes, with a view to ascertaining whether or not it would enhance the drug’s effect.
The research team also administered the drug and onion to three groups of nondiabetic rats with normal blood sugar.
Notably, the doses were 200mg, 400mg, and 600mg per kilogram of body weight.
They found out that, of the diabetic rats, those given 400mg and 600mg per kilogram of body weight “strongly reduced” their blood sugar levels by 50% and 35% respectively compared with a baseline level.
In addition, the onion extract was also discovered to lower the total cholesterol level in diabetic rats, with the 400mg and 600mg having the greatest effects.
Going further, the study found out that the onion extract led to weight gain among the nondiabetic rats, but not the diabetic rats.
“Onion is not high in calories. However, it seems to increase the metabolic rate and, with that, to increase the appetite, leading to an increase in feeding.
“We need to investigate the mechanism by which onion brought about the blood glucose reduction. We do not yet have an explanation,” Ojieh explained.