Researchers on Nutrition from the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (UAEH) found in legumes (such as beans) a nutraceutical product that may contribute improving the quality of life of patients suffering from diabetes, by significantly lowering levels glucose.
This is part of the first findings of a research project called ‘Beneficial health effects by consumption of a prototype food based on starch’, said Teodoro Suarez, researcher at the UAEH Nutrition Department.
The specialist explained that the product they intend to develop is not a drug, but a nutritional innovation to improve the quality of life of diabetics.
Suarez said that glucose is the main fuel for the brain, and the brain demands up to 50 % of energy intake. Therefore, eating foods of low digestibility, such as beans, can influence cognitive performance such as memory and analytical reasoning.
Suarez and his team worked for 5 years in the laboratory to obtain the starch of low digestibility from beans. They tested it in animal models of diabetes, confirming it has a favorable effect. Suarez explained while the consumption of their starch did not lower blood sugar levels, it helped improve the regulation of carbohydrates at a cellular level, thus improving their overall health of the patient, without implying a cure of the disease.
“A person with diabetes does not produce insulin, the hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, in other words, sugar. Given this deficiency, the body maintains high glucose concentrations for long periods at a cellular level, called oxidative stress,” said the researcher.
Thus, the aim of the research is to obtain a product derived from starch beans to help improve hyperglycemia in people with diabetes without attempting to fill the role of pharmaceutical treatment, but as an aid to improve glucose intolerance, by improving the efficiency carbohydrate metabolism as the primary energy source.