Impact of mulberry leaf extract on type 2 diabetes (Mul-DM): A randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study

Complement Ther Med. 2017 Jun:32:105-108. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.04.006. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Aims: Mulberry leaves have been used anecdotally in Asia to treat many disease states, including glucose abnormalities. Animal and human studies illustrate potential benefit of mulberry leaf extract (MLE) in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the glycemic and safety effects of MLE in patients with DM2.

Materials & methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study evaluated MLE (1000mg standardized) versus matching placebo given three times daily with meals. Patients (n=24) were included if they had DM2 on single or combination oral therapy with a stable hemoglobin A1C (A1C). A 2-week placebo run-in (baseline) was followed by initiation of randomized medication for 3 months. Primary endpoints were change in A1C and self-monitoring blood glucoses (SMBG). Safety was also evaluated.

Results: Of 24 patients enrolled, 17 patients completed the study. Post-prandial SMBG was significantly decreased at 3 months in the MLE group versus baseline (16.1%; p<0.05). This improvement in post-prandial SMBG persisted when compared to placebo (18.2%; p<0.05). A1C decreased from 7.30% at baseline to 6.94% in the MLE group but did not reach statistical significance (p=0.079). There was no difference in A1C between MLE and placebo. A significant 15% increase occurred in serum creatinine when the MLE group was compared to baseline or placebo (p<0.05 for both). There was no significant effect on weight, fasting SMBG, blood pressure, hypoglycemia, or other safety evaluation markers.

Conclusions: These results suggest that mulberry leaf extract may be a useful complementary mealtime glucose option for patients with DM2. Identifier NCT00795704.

Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine; Diabetes; Hemoglobin A1c; Herbal medicine; Mulberry leaf extract; Self-monitoring blood glucose.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morus*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human

Associated data