Chinese medicine may hold the key to treating diabetes

March 28, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Traditional Chinese medicine could be a key weapon in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, a joint international study has found.

Researchers, including The University of Queensland's Dr Sanjoy Paul and Peking University's Professor Lilong Ji from Beijing, have found that were significantly more effective when used alongside in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The study involved a controlled clinical trial of 800 type 2 , comparing anti-diabetic drug Glibenclamide as a stand-alone treatment and treatment with Glibenclamide in conjunction with traditional .

Dr Paul, who is Director of the Queensland Clinical Trials and Biostatistics Centre in UQ's School of , said results showed patients treated with traditional Chinese medicine were more than a third less likely to experience hypoglycaemia – dangerously low levels of blood sugar – than those treated with Glibenclamide only.

"They were also less likely to experience other symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue, hunger and palpitation," Dr Paul said.

"Traditional Chinese medicine has long been used to treat diabetes in China and around the world but until now there has been a lack of evidence regarding its safety and efficacy.

"This absence of scientific understanding has caused scepticism and criticism about traditional Chinese medicine."

Dr Paul said more studies were needed to interpret just how traditional Chinese medicine worked to reduce hypoglycaemia, but the study results highlighted its potential to reduce the treatment gap in developing countries where diabetes was at .

"A vast majority of people in developing countries depend on herbal medicine for basic health care," Dr Paul said.

"The findings of this study may improve the safe delivery of effective health care to people who may otherwise be unable to access treatment."

The study is the largest scientifically designed clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine on glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The paper is published in PLOS One.

Explore further: Chinese medicine could treat Parkinson's: HK study

More information: www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0056703

Related Stories

Chinese medicine could treat Parkinson's: HK study

July 21, 2011

Chinese medicine may be effective in battling certain symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and lessening side effects from the drugs used to treat the condition, according to a new study.

Spirituality key to Chinese medicine success, study finds

September 25, 2012

Are the longevity and vitality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) due to its holistic approach? Indeed, Chinese medicine is not simply about treating illness, but rather about taking care of the whole person—body, mind, ...

Recommended for you

Engineered hot fat implants reduce weight gain in mice

August 20, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning "good" fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose ...

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...

Promising progress for new treatment of type 1 diabetes

July 30, 2015

New research from Uppsala University shows promising progress in the use of anti-inflammatory cytokine for treatment of type 1 diabetes. The study, published in the open access journal Scientific Reports, reveals that administration ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.