Herbal extract shows promise in treating diabetes

The extract from the root of Rhodiola rosea can be helpful in treating diabetes.

Rhodiola rosea root can help manage type 2 diabetes, according to a study by the University of California, Irvine.

An extract from the root of the Rhodiola rosea plant has been found promising as a safe and effective non-drug option to help control type 2 diabetes, according to a team of researchers led by the University of California, Irvine.

According to a study recently published in Scientific ReportsRhodiola rosea reduced the number of inflammatory biomarkers and improved insulin response in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes. It also reduced fasting blood glucose levels and altered bacterial composition in the gastrointestinal tract.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes and the associated health costs have risen steadily in recent decades. “Humans have used plants and natural products for thousands of years to treat diseases, and our study shows that the golden root is a good candidate for further investigation,” said corresponding author Dr. Mahtab Jafari, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UCLA. Current treatment recommendations include lifestyle changes as well as oral and intravenous medications. However, these drugs have significant limitations or side effects, increasing the need for new therapeutic interventions.”

Scientists tested whether Rhodiola rosea could boost glucose homeostasis using a genetically engineered mouse model that develops obesity, insulin resistance and high blood sugar, compared to advanced type 2 diabetes. Age-matched groups of male and female rats were randomly assigned to either the control group, which received water, or the experimental group, who were given Rhodiola rosea extract.

“Our findings suggest that Rhodiola rosea may be useful in treating type 2 diabetes, as it works through changes in the microbiome that increase the integrity of the gut barrier and reduce the transmission of inflammatory molecules into the circulation,” Jafari said. “Gut barrier integrity influences body weight and insulin response, and this plant-based product may improve liver and muscle tissue responses to insulin produced by the pancreas.”

The team’s next steps are to conduct a larger follow-up study in a different mouse model of obesity-induced diabetes to confirm these findings and to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved. Ultimately, Jafari hopes to conduct clinical trials of Rhodiola rosea on patients with type 2 diabetes.

“Our research makes a strong case for the importance of conducting high-quality preclinical studies based on sound methodologies to evaluate the efficacy of standardized plant extracts. We paved the way for human clinical studies, with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes for patients with type 2 diabetes,” Jafari said.

Reference: “Effect of Rhodiola rosea on biomarkers of diabetes, inflammation and microbiota in a leptin receptor knockout mouse model” by Mahtab Jafari, Jasmine Grace Joanson Arabit, Robert Corville, Dara Kiani, John M Chaston and Cindy Doy Nguyen, 1999; Nilamani Gina, Zhong Ying Liu, Prasanthi Tata, and Richard A. Van Itten, June 22, 2022, Available here. Scientific Reports.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-022-14241-7

The study was funded by the UCI College of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences Collaborative Research Fund and Mr. and Mrs. John P. and Lois C. Wareham.