Onions may improve blood sugar and cholesterol

Onions may improve blood sugar and cholesterol

The extract of onions may improve blood sugar and cholesterol, according to a study to be presented at The Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

Onion is cheap and available and has been used as a nutritional supplement,” said lead investigator Anthony Ojieh, MBBS (MD), MSc, of Delta State University in Abraka, Nigeria. “It has the potential for use in treating patients with diabetes.”

The research team gave three groups of diabetic rats various doses of anti-diabetic drug metformin, as well as varying doses of an onion extract called Allium cepa. They also repeated this procedure with three groups of healthy, non-diabetic rats. Two control groups – one with diabetes and one non-diabetic didn’t receive metformin or onion extract.

The groups of rats that received 400 and 600mg of onion extract per day had significant decreases in blood sugar, 50 percent and 35 percent respectively.

The onion extract also reduced total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats, with the larger doses having the strongest effect.

The onion extract did lead to an increase in average weight gain, but only in non-diabetic rats.

Onion is not high in calories,” Ojieh said. “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,” Ojieh said. “We do not yet have an explanation.”

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1. “Onion Extract May Improve High Blood Sugar and Cholesterol.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.
2. “Onion Extract May Improve High Blood Sugar and Cholesterol.” EurekAlert! EurekAlert!, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

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