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These dietary supplements beat antidiabetic drug in treating diabetes

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By David Liu, PHD

Sunday April 8, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study released in the March 2012 issue of Food Chemistry and Toxicology suggests that taking Cordyceps sinensis, taurine or their combination can help reduce insulin resistance and induce other desired physiological responses, effectively. 

The study led by El Ashry Fel Z of  Zagazig University in Zagazig, Egypt and colleaggues showed that administration of Corhyyceps sinensis, taurine or their combination was more effective than glibenclamide, an antidiabetic medication, in reducing insulin resistance index in diabetic model rats.

For the study, rats with diabetes induced using an antibiotic called streptozotocin were orally given glibenclamide, C. sinensis, taurine or Cordyceps and taurine combination for 21 days.  Then their effects on many biomarkerts were studies in vivo and in vitro.

The researchers found "Oral administration of Cordyceps, taurine and their combination decreased serum glucose, fructosamine, total cholesterol, triglycerides levels, insulin resistance index and pancreatic malondialdehyde content. Cordyceps significantly increased serum insulin, HDL-cholesterol, total antioxidant capacity levels, β cell function percent, and pancreatic reduced glutathione (GSH) content."

Taurine is a non-essential amino acid that naturallly occur in food particularly in seafood and meat.  Studies have shown that taurine is effective in removing fatty liver deposits in rats, preventing liver disease, and reducing cirrhosis in animals.  Also this compound beenfits adult human blood pressure and allevates other cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.  Taurine has already been widely used as an ingreidents in energy drinks.

Cordyceps sinensis is the best known species of the genus Cordyceps, which is considered a medicinal mushroom in oriental medicines like traditional Chinese medicines and traditional Tibetan medicine.

However, taurine was found "unable to elevate pancreatic GSH level to a significant level while Cordyceps and taurine significantly enhanced glucose uptake by diaphragms of normal and diabetic rats in absence and presence of insulin."

The researchers concluded "Cordyceps and taurine either alone or in combination have less potent hypoglycemic effects than glibenclamide; however, they have more ability to reduce insulin resistance and stronger antioxidant properties."

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus affects 26 million men and women in the United States.  The modern medicine does not provide a cure, but the disease can be manageable.  

Many lifestyle parameters can be modified to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes with which a person can produce insulin, which can not effectively handle blood sugar or glucose in the patients.

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