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Stevia Plant and Type 2 Diabetes

The Stevia plant contain new promising drug compounds for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes


Project summary

Lifestyle changes and increased use of antiretrovial therapy (HIV-treatment) will induce an epidemic increase of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in the next 10-15 years in developing countries with limited economic resources. Therefore, The World Health Organization Expert Committee on Diabetes has recommended that traditional and cheap treatment modalities of diabetes should be further investigated. In our opinion, Isosteviol is an attractive option as a source of new oral drug compound due to its beneficial effects on T2D.

Extracts of the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (SrB) has been used in the traditional South American treatment of diabetes. The plant was discovered by the Paraguayan botanist, Moises Santiago Bertoni in 1899 who learned of its unique properties from the Paraguayan Guarani Indians.  We have demonstrated that the derivates Isosteviol and stevioside, isolated from SrB, possess anti-diabetic efficacy in animals and humans. Interestingly, the bioavailability of the aglucon, Isosteviol, is much higher than for stevioside and more potently stimulates insulin secretion as well ad improves insulin sensitivity.

Associate Prof., PhD.  Per Bendix Jeppesen has in collaboration with the National University Hospital, Asuncion, Paraguay, performed  clinical trials with stevia compounds in Type 2 Diabetic patients. The study was supported by DANIDA (FFU). Aarhus University was also responsible for the training of Medical Doctor at the National University of Asuncion, in the capital of Paraguay, which makes it possible to perform the clinical studies in Paraguay.

Associate Prof. Ph.D. Per Bendix Jeppesen. Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus Sygehus THG, Dept. of Endocrinology and Metabolism C, Tage-Hansens-Gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C.