Published in the Journal of Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium found that stevia leaves a protein that is essential to our taste perception and is involved in postprandial insulin release (ie, ion channel TRPM5). This result provides new possibilities for the treatment of diabetes.
As a non-calorie substitute for sugar, stevia extract is very popular. This sweetener derived from plants is also considered to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, but no one understands what is the reason. Today, Prof. Koenraad Philippaert and Professor Rudi Vennekens from the Department of Cell and Molecular Medicine of the University of Leuven reveal the underlying mechanisms. They collaborated with other scientists from the University of Leuven and researchers from the Belgian Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Oxford in the UK to carry out the study.
"Our experiments have demonstrated that the active constituents of the stevia extract and the steviol activate the activity of the TRATA 5. The proteins known as the ion channels are a class of micro-agents," Dr. Philippaert explains. The passage of small charged particles into and out of the cells, which are responsible for many of the processes in the body.
"The first thing to do is that TRPM5 is essential for the perception of sweetness, bitterness and flavor of the tongue," says Dr. Philippaert. "Stein alcohol makes this sense of taste stronger as an active ingredient of Stevia, which activates TRPM5. This explains that stevia has a strong sweet taste and a bitter taste.
TRPM5 also ensures that beta cells in the pancreas release enough insulin (eg after a meal). Therefore, it helps prevent abnormal high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes mellitus. If the pancreas can not release enough insulin (often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle), the disease is produced.
"If mice eat high-fat foods for a long time, they will eventually get diabetes," says Professor Vennekens. "But mice that also ingest daily doses of stevioside are rare: stevia Glycosides do not have this protective effect on mice lacking TRPM5, suggesting that this resistance to unusually high levels of blood glucose and diabetes is due to stevioside activation of TRPM5.
This study provides new possibilities for developing new therapies to control or possibly prevent diabetes. Dr. Philippaert cautioned, "but we do not get too hasty. This is a basic study that still has a long way to go before we can consider a new approach to treating diabetes.First, mice are taking more doses than they are in beverages and humans Edible other products found in order to confirm whether our findings apply to humans, and further research is needed, all of which means that new diabetes therapies will not appear in the near future.