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HomeminewsSea Cucumbers Deter Diabetes

Sea Cucumbers Deter Diabetes

They’re a marine delicacy loved across Asia, but the sea cucumber is also proving to be a key ingredient in preventing diabetes, according to new Australian research.

Researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) found that processed dried sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) with salt extracts can inhibit a compound that is associated with increased risk of diabetes, thereby reducing the likelihood of the disease.

To date, there is no commercially available therapeutic agent to inhibit the formation of this compound, called Advanced Glycation End (AGE).

AGEs form when proteins and/ or fats combine with sugars in the bloodstream. When accumulated in high levels, they increase diabetic complications.

Lead researcher, UniSA’s Dr Permal Deo said, “We know that an accumulation of AGEs is associated with complications of type 2 diabetes, so strategies to prevent this may reduce the risk of developing diabetic complications.

“Biologically active novel compounds in medicinal plants and foods are potential therapeutic agents to prevent diabetic complications.

“We found that processed dried sea cucumber with salt extracts and collagen can significantly inhibit AGEs by lowering a range of sugar-related metabolites in the body and reducing the risk of diabetes.

“These results provide sound evidence that sea cucumbers could be developed as a functional food product to help battle the onset of diabetes and diabetic-complications,”

Dr Deo said. Globally, about 422 million people have diabetes, with 1.5 million deaths directly attributed to the disease each year, UniSA said.