Diabetes, often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. It is a long-term condition.
There are three known types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes – the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.
- Type 2 Diabetes – the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
- Gestational Diabetes – this type affects females during pregnancy.
Insulin is made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets. Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood.
Due to the traditional application of Annona muricata against diabetes, several studies have investigated this potential in vivo. The nutrients in Soursop leaves are believed to stabilize blood sugar levels in the normal range.
Studies have also indicated that Soursop extract treatment decreased the blood glucose concentration of diabetic rats due to the regeneration/proliferation in the pancreatic Beta cells. Histopathological examination showed that the leaf extract caused the regeneration of β-cells in the pancreas islets. The stem bark ethanolic extract also demonstrated promising antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activities. Treatment with the extract (150 and 300 mg/kg) to rats for 14 days lowered the increased blood glucose and was associated with a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
All types of diabetes are treatable. Diabetes type 1 lasts a lifetime, there is no known cure. Type 2 usually lasts a lifetime, however, some people have managed to get rid of their symptoms without medication, through a combination of exercise, diet and body weight control.