Ginger could be good for diabetes patients, study suggests

The health benefits of ginger have long been celebrated, with the spice often used for the natural treatment of sore throats, coughs and bronchitis to name a few.

It is also a popular cooking ingredient - not many people can turn down a slice of delicious homemade ginger crunch!

Yet apparently this spice is more than just a delicious baking ingredient and lifesaver when cold and flu are in the air. A recent study has found that it may also be beneficial for diabetes patients.

According to researchers from the University of Sydney, ginger extracts from the Buderim ginger helped increase the uptake of glucose into the muscle cells.

Study leader and professor of pharmaceutical chemistry Basil Roufogalis said that the more glucose that gets into the muscle cells, the better it is for blood sugar levels.

"This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long-term diabetic patients, and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin," he explained in a statement issued on August 6.

While the results are encouraging, professor Roufogalis did emphasise that this study was preliminary and further research needs to be undertaken.

"It is hoped that these promising results for managing blood glucose levels can be examined further in human clinical trials," he said.

In the meantime, diabetes patients should follow official treatment options and seek regular advice from their healthcare practitioners.

Those that are missing sugary treats may be interested to know that natural sweeteners Xylitol and Stevia are suitable for diabetics.

These can be added to just about anything, from hot drinks to cold beverages and baked goods - even ginger crunch!

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