Background: Mulberry (Morus indica L.) is non-toxic natural therapeutic agent shown to possess hypoglycemic, hypotensive, and diuretic properties.
Methods: The hypoglycemic effect of the mulberry leaves was evaluated by comparing the anti-diabetic activity of the standard drug, glibenclamide. A total of 24 type 2 diabetic patents were divided randomly into two treatment groups: the mulberry agent and glibenclamide, for 30 days. Serum and erythrocyte membrane lipid profiles of the patients were analyzed before and after the treatments.
Results: Patients with mulberry therapy significantly improved their glycemic control vs. glibenclamide treatment. The results from pre- and post-treatment analysis of blood plasma and urine samples showed that the mulberry therapy significantly decreased the concentration of serum total cholesterol (12%, p<0.01), triglycerides (16%, p<0.01), plasma free fatty acids (12%, p<0.01), LDL-cholesterol (23%, p<0.01), VLDL-cholesterol (17%, p<0.01), plasma peroxides (25%, p<0.01), urinary peroxides (55%, p<0.01), while increasing HDL-cholesterol (18%, p<0.01). Although the patients with glibenclamide treatment showed marginal improvement in glycemic control, the changes in the lipid profile were not statistically significant except for triglycerides (10%, p<0.05), plasma peroxides (15%, p<0.05), and urinary peroxides (19%, p<0.05). Both treatments displayed no apparent effect on the concentrations of the glycosylated hemoglobin (Hb A(1)c) in diabetic patients. However, the fasting blood glucose concentrations of diabetic patients were significantly reduced by the mulberry therapy.
Conclusions: Mulberry therapy exhibits potential hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in diabetic patients.