Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Dr. Oz's New Superfood: White Mulberries

Dr. Oz's latest find: Mulberries 

The Mulberry bush does more than just play a role in nursery rhymes; depending on the part you use it can also help stabilize blood sugar and help protect against diabetes and cardiovascular disease


Ripe white mulberries are sweet and juicy. 
Mulberry is the common name for plants in the Morus family.  In North America, most commonly we use Mulberry to refer to the species Morus alba (White Mulberry) and Morus rubra (Red Mulberry).   The fruit and the leaves have been shown to have very different benefits to health.  Mulberry fruit has been found to have potential benefits to both Parkinson’s Disease and cardiovascular disease.

The leaf of the Mulberry bush, on the other hand was initially discovered to help treat Type II Diabetes, and now more recently research has indicated some potential uses in cancer therapy.

FRUIT

The mulberry fruit is tart and sweet and also contains a rich content of phenolic flavonoids called anthocyanins.  It also contains resveratrol, a strong antioxidant that can be used to protect against vascular damage.  Mulberry fruit is a source of many strong antioxidants and also provides a rich dose of vitamin C and other nutrients.


Parkinson’s Disease


Some preliminary research has suggested that Mulberry fruit may help to protect those neurons normally affected in people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.  Further research is required, but the initial results do look promising.

Cardiovascular Disease


In addition to being full of powerful antioxidants, Mulberry fruit extracts have also been shown to inhibit the oxidation of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, and to prevent the formation of foam cells by macrophages, one of the major steps involved in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.  Thus supplementing with Mulberry fruit extract can help to prevent atherosclerosis.

LEAF

Throughout history, Mulberry leaves have been cultivated around the world as food for the silkworm in order to further the production of silk.  Later, it was discovered that the leaves could also have medicinal benefits for humans.

Blood Sugar Stabilization

Mulberry leaf is particularly useful in helping to regulate Type II Diabetes.  Supplementation has been shown to slow the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract, which helps to stabilize and maintain blood sugar levels.  Thus it can help diabetes sufferers to better manage their blood sugar when eating foods that normally have quick absorption.


Potential Cancer Treatment


Some preliminary research is currently being performed that examines certain constituents in Mulberry leaf for use in the treatment of various cancer cell lines in test tubes.  Some of the research is promising, but many more studies must be performed before Mulberry leaf can be used in this way in humans.


How can I take Mulberry?


Mulberries can be eaten fresh as a snack or as part of a meal.  They can also be eaten dried and used in baking recipes in place of raisins.  Some supplements may also contain a powdered form of Mulberry fruit.  The dosage has not yet been established by research, but doses within the range normally eaten in the diet are considered safe.


The health benefits of Mulberry leaf depend greatly on the quality of the extraction process used.  As with most herbal supplements, be sure to use a manufacturer that you trust.  Mulberry leaf can be taken as a tea or in powder or capsules.  Tea can be taken in a dose of between 4.5 and 15g daily.  Recommended dosage for concentrated extracts, like those found in capsules, is 1000mg (1g) three times daily before meals.

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