Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Dietitian Is In: Mulberry Leaf Supplements

When we meet someone for the first time and share what we do, it often seems to open the gateway to a game of 20 questions. “What do you think about the Paleo diet?” “It’s a good thing to give up gluten, right?” “Is a banana bad for me?” “So, do you always eat healthy?” When we’re asked these kinds of questions, we’re happy to answer them. We feel grateful that people feel comfortable enough to ask. Here's a recent question we were asked...and here's the answer!


Question: Do mulberry leaf supplements have any real health benefits?

Image courtesy of David R. Tribble on Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Mulberry leaf has been used for centuries in Chinese and Japanese cultures as traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of health concerns, from the common cold to diabetes. Mulberry leaf—available in tea and supplement forms—exhibits powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And emerging research indicates that mulberry leaf may possess specific health benefits, including controlling blood glucose levels and protecting the heart against oxidative stress. Published studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology report that mulberry leaf may help control elevated blood sugar by slowing the rise in blood sugar that occurs after consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal. In addition, mulberry leaf may protect your heart by decreasing serum levels of triglyercides, total cholesterol, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Keep in mind that while this research is encouraging, we need more studies to confirm these benefits. And your best bet—as always—is to prevent chronic disease by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress in healthy ways.



This Q& A was written by McKenzie for the "Ask the Expert" section in the June 2013 issue of Environmental Nutrition.

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