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Natural Health Tips
Last posted March 17, 2022




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Natural Health Tips

Why Diabetics Might Want to Try Ginger

Famous for its power over nausea, ginger is actually a very versatile herb: so versatile that diabetics may want to learn more about it.

Little known as a herb for diabetes, several studies have actually shown that it is. Ginger has been shown in double-blind research to lower fasting blood sugar and improve insulin resistance (Comp Ther Res 2014;22:9-16).

A massive review of the research on ginger found at least three studies that found that ginger benefits diabetics by significantly lowering fasting blood sugar, HbA1c (the most important marker of long term diabetes and blood sugar control), insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. Diabetics also saw their LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation and antioxidant activity improve.

Ginger even helps diabetics who are already on medication. When type 2 diabetics who were on medication added 3g of ginger or placebo for 3 months, the ginger was significantly better at improving serum glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, long term diabetes and blood sugar control, free radical damage and inflammation (J Compliment Integr Med 2015;12:165-70).

A new study has added to this evidence by showing, once again, that ginger is valuable even to type 2 diabetics who are already being moderately to well controlled by their medications.

The small, uncontrolled study added 399mg of powdered ginger extract 3 times a day to the regular medication. The study lasted 6 weeks.

Adding ginger significantly improved their HbA1c and their triglycerides. It also improved their blood pressure and diastolic heart function, the relaxation part of your heart beat when the chambers fill with blood.

This study adds to the evidence that ginger can help diabetics, including improving the health of diabetics whose condition is already being managed by drugs.

Ann Cardiol Angeiol (Paris). 2022 Jun;71(3):160-165

 

Blood Pressure’s Secret: Well-known Veg; Little-known Herb

High blood pressure is no secret. Half of all American adults and nearly a quarter of all Canadian adults have high blood pressure. But a herb that can treat it is still a secret. Want to be let in on the secret? It’s no secret in China.

Traditional Chinese medicine has long recommended celery for lowering high blood pressure.

A compound that is unique to celery, known as 3-n-butyl phthalide, can lower blood pressure. And you only need to eat about 4 stalks of celery a day to get enough.

Preliminary research has found that 150mg a day of celery seed extract, standardized for 85% 3-n-butylphthalide can significantly lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate high blood pressure (Natural Medicine Journal 2013;4(4):1-3).

Now this ancient tradition and preliminary research has been put to the test in a controlled study for what may be the first time.

The just published study is a triple-blind, placebo-controlled study of 52 people with high blood pressure. Each person was given either a placebo or 1.34g of celery seed extract a day for 4 weeks. The celery seed extract significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure dropped from 141.2 to 130, and diastolic blood pressure dropped from 92.2 to 84.2. Mean arterial blood pressure and pulse pressure also significantly decreased. In comparison, there was no significant improvement in the placebo group. The celery seed extract was as safe as the placebo.

Now you know the secret. Celery seed extract can help you safely manage your high blood pressure.

Phytother Res. 2022 May 27. doi:10.1002/ptr.7469

 

Simple Help for Reducing the Risk of Preeclampsia

If you are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, and want to reduce your risk of preeclampsia, this simple dietary move might help . . . a lot.

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that occurs in as many as 8% of pregnant women, where blood pressure is elevated, fluid is retained, and there is loss of protein in the urine. In the US, preeclampsia is the cause of about 15% of premature births. It occurs in the third trimester.

Several herbs and nutrients have been shown to help reduce the risk. Women with preeclampsia are low in antioxidants, and taking the antioxidant vitamins C and E has been shown to help. Just off the press research is bringing a new antioxidant to the rescue. A large study compared the diets of 440 women with preeclampsia with the diets of 440 women without. It measured their dietary intake of carotenes.

It found that women who had the most carotene rich diets were 71% less likely to get preeclampsia than the women who had the least carotenes in their diet. The most effective carotenes may have been beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lycopene and beta-cryptoxanthin also helped.

This study offers the promise that eating a carotene rich diet can help protect you from preeclampsia when pregnant.

Other dietary help comes from eliminating trans fatty acids and increasing omega-3 essential fatty acids and increasing fiber, vegetables and other plant foods. Research has also shown that—and here’s the good news—that eating dark chocolate helps. .

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2022 May 21;22(1):427

 

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