Rooibos could reduce risk of “Type 3” diabetes – a precursor to Alzheimer’s

Rooibos-plant-SA-rooibos-councilResearchers at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in the US found a link between a relatively new form of diabetes, known as “type 3” diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

As with all types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the health of the brain over a period of time, but now scientists have discovered a strong connection between the disease and insulin resistance in the brain – also referred to as type 3 diabetes.

Prof Christo Muller, chief specialist scientist at the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) describes Alzheimer’s as a neurodegenerative disease in the aged, which involves the progressive loss of nerve cells and connections.

‘Type 1 and 2 diabetes are typically characterised by hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) whereas type 3 diabetes is a more complex disease that has its origin in the central nervous system.

‘Many type 2 diabetics have deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid in their pancreas, which is similar to the protein deposits found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s sufferers. According to research published in the World Journal of Diabetes, this increases type 2 diabetics’ risk of Alzheimer’s disease by between 50 percent and 65 percent,’ remarks Muller.

Current research suggests that rooibos has the potential to delay or prevent the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes, however its effect on the associated risk of type 3 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease still needs to be elucidated.

Muller says phenolic compounds present in rooibos enhances the body’s antioxidant defences helping to fight a variety of oxidative stress-induced conditions. ‘The brain is one of the organs most sensitive to oxidative stress, and long-term exposure to increased levels of free radicals causes damage to neural cells. Dietary antioxidants, such as those found in rooibos, could thus protect vulnerable neurons against the impact of oxidative by-products.

‘Rooibos tea is a rich source of dietary antioxidants, including flavonoids, such as dihydrochalcone glucoside, aspalathin and nothofagin. Aspalathin, in particular, helps to modify hormones in the body and reduces the output of adrenal hormones specifically, thus reducing stress and helping to inhibit metabolic disorders.

‘Aspalathin also helps to regulate blood sugar and therefore can play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and excessive fat production. Our research at the SAMRC found that an aspalathin-enriched extract of green rooibos was particularly effective at lowering raised blood glucose levels in diabetic rats. Aspalathin is a unique phenolic compound (a chemical produced by the plant to help protect itself from negative environmental factors), limited to the genus Aspalathus, which has demonstrated a significant contribution to the biological benefits of rooibos,’ he says.

Studies conducted on the anti-diabetic properties of Rooibos by the SAMRC and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), including those done in overseas laboratories, span more than 10 years’ of intensive work. In a more recent study conducted by Prof Muller and his team of researchers from SAMRC, rooibos extract achieved significant glucose- and cholesterol-lowering results in diabetic primates, which has been described as a breakthrough discovery. Human trials have been earmarked for 2018.

Rooibos, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle is certain to benefit everyone,’ concludes Prof Muller.

Currently, an estimated one in 14 South Africans between the ages of 21 and 79 suffer from diabetes. Alzheimer’s is reported to affect 750 000 South Africans.



Latest


22 Jan 2021
Clere celebrates 60 years of spreading the love for skin

This year heritage skin care brand, Clere is celebrating its 60th anniversary. “The name Clere has been synonymous with soft,…

Clere celebrates 60 years of spreading the love for skin

This year heritage skin care brand, Clere is celebrating its 60th anniversary. “The name Clere has been synonymous with soft, smooth, beautiful looking skin for six decades now. It’s a favourite in both South African homes and those abroad. Over the years Clere has managed to remain relevant, and up…

21 Jan 2021
COVID-19 vaccine – how will Africa keep it cold enough?

While we await the first vaccines to either arrive in the country via air, or under licence from local manufactured…

COVID-19 vaccine – how will Africa keep it cold enough?

While we await the first vaccines to either arrive in the country via air, or under licence from local manufactured sources, there remains another obstacle. The so-called cold supply chain that needs to remain intact when delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to all corners of the country. The temperatures needed for…

18 Jan 2021
Solvay commits to sustainable cyclopentanone production

Solvay has begun a process of decarbonising the cyclopentanone unit of its Melle plant in France. Through an agreement with…

Solvay commits to sustainable cyclopentanone production

Solvay has begun a process of decarbonising the cyclopentanone unit of its Melle plant in France. Through an agreement with an agricultural cooperative for the next 15 years, the entire cyclopentanone production will indeed rely solely on biomethane gas, a green source of energy. The cooperative built a facility to…

18 Jan 2021
Irene Cantos becomes IMCD’s group director Personal Care

IMCD has appointed Irene Cantos as business group director Personal Care, effective 6 January 2021. In her role, Cantos, will…

Irene Cantos becomes IMCD’s group director Personal Care

IMCD has appointed Irene Cantos as business group director Personal Care, effective 6 January 2021. In her role, Cantos, will lead the Business Group Personal Care in becoming the global player of choice for both suppliers and customers in the distribution of speciality ingredients. The group aims to grow both…


Top stories


25 Jun 2020
How to ensure business agility in a pandemic

BY: Neil Birch, CEO at Novus Holdings Business agility is the capability of a business to respond quickly to a…

How to ensure business agility in a pandemic

BY: Neil Birch, CEO at Novus Holdings Business agility is the capability of a business to respond quickly to a changing environment, whether it be internal or external. Qualities of agile businesses include being adaptive, flexible and creative in your response to change without losing momentum (remaining productive) or vision.…

01 May 2020
Fibertex manufactures critical components for COVID-19 PPE

Fibertex SA, part of the global Fibertex Nonwovens group, has developed versatile high-performance components for protective facemasks and respirators. “Fibertex,…

Fibertex manufactures critical components for COVID-19 PPE

Fibertex SA, part of the global Fibertex Nonwovens group, has developed versatile high-performance components for protective facemasks and respirators. “Fibertex, which continuously invests in technological advancements to meet requirements in diverse industries – has increased production capacity of materials so desperately needed during the global COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Rosa Naidoo,…

23 Apr 2020
Are you South Africa’s best female entrepreneur?

Entries are now open for the Santam Women of the Future Awards 2020 in association with Fairlady and True Love.…

Are you South Africa’s best female entrepreneur?

Entries are now open for the Santam Women of the Future Awards 2020 in association with Fairlady and True Love. Santam, Fairlady and, for the first time this year, Truelove Magazine, have partnered up in the search to find the best female entrepreneurs in the country. Best women entrepreneurs If…

08 Apr 2020
Health Shops are allowed to trade in essential items during the lockdown

Cape Government MEC, David Maynier, has confirmed that Health Shops may operate in the Western Cape during the COVID-19 lockdown…

Health Shops are allowed to trade in essential items during the lockdown

Cape Government MEC, David Maynier, has confirmed that Health Shops may operate in the Western Cape during the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa, subject to lockdown regulations. Following high level engagement with the Ministry of Health, Western Cape, and with the Western Cape Government, the HPA reports that in collaboration…


Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za