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Euromed’s natural ingredient ABAlife shows beneficial effects on glucose metabolism

A recently published human study from the University of Sydney, Australia, evaluated the efficacy of ABAlife on glucose metabolism blood parameters1. The abscisic acid (ABA) standardized fig extract has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, assist insulin release and may help to lower post-prandial blood glucose levels, besides having anti-inflammatory and adaptogen properties too2. ABAlife is a patented extract from Euromed, a leading manufacturer of therapeutic botanical extracts, and available for dietary supplements.

In the randomized, double-blind crossover study, the researchers investigated the effects of two different ABA doses in fig extracts (100 mg and 200 mg) on post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy subjects. Figs have one of the highest ABA concentrations found in nature. A 200 mg dose of ABAlife added to a glucose drink lowered overall blood glucose and insulin levels and peaks between 30 and 120 minutes post-dose, and significantly improved glycemic index (GI) levels compared with a reference glucose solution alone. The GI indicates how fast and efficiently the body can metabolize a carbohydrate meal.

The lower dosage was also effective on GI but did not reach statistical significance. Both dosages, however, were able to significantly lower the post-prandial insulinemic index (II), which shows how much insulin the body releases in response to a meal. The data displays a clear dose-response reduction of GI and II.

This initial study suggests that ABAlife may be a beneficial dietary supplement in terms of helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and an adjunctive treatment for chronic metabolic disorders such as prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 66 million people in Europe have diabetes. Prevalence is rising among all age groups, mostly owing to increases in lifestyle-related risk factors such as unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. Sugar boosts the level of glucose in the blood and causes the pancreas to release insulin. Higher insulin levels lead to the storage of dietary calories as fat, which can result in overweight and obesity – both risk factors for diabetes. A second, larger acute clinical trial is currently ongoing, and a chronic administration study will start next year.

1ABAlife is a whole fruit extract that’s produced from figs according to the highest quality standards of Euromed and purified using a carefully controlled process to achieve a high, standardized ABA content. The ingredient delivers the scientifically proven health benefits of ABA while avoiding the additional calories associated with eating figs.
2Atkinson FS et al.: Nutrients. Abscisic Acid Standardized Fig (Ficus carica) Extracts Ameliorate Postprandial Glycemic and Insulinemic Responses in Healthy Adults. 2019 Jul 31;11(8). pii: E1757.
Zocchi E, Hontecillas R, Leber A, et al. (2017) Abscisic Acid: A Novel Nutraceutical for Glycemic Control. Front. Nutr. 4:24. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2017.00024

Researchers in South Australia have discovered a new complex carbohydrate in barley, the first polysaccharide of its kind found in more than 30 years.

The cereal polysaccharide has the potential to be used for many applications in food, medicine and cosmetics.

The research by the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, has been published in the American Chemistry Society journal ACS Central Science.

The discovery was made by Senior Research Scientist Dr Alan Little, and the team at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus.

“Plant cell walls contain components that are of major interest for many industries such as renewable sources for energy production, composite materials or food products,” said Dr Little.

“Knowledge of this new polysaccharide will open up further research to determine its role in the plant.

“We know that it can be found in the roots of barley suggesting it may play a role in plant growth or resistance to external stresses such as salinity or disease.”

Polysaccharides are a carbohydrate whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together.

The new polysaccharide is a mix of glucose, commonly found in cellulose, and xylose, which is found in dietary fibre. Based on the relative proportions of each sugar, the hybrid polysaccharide has the potential to behave as a structural component of the wall providing strength or conversely as a viscous gel.

Existing polysaccharides have a wide range of uses. They improve the quality of dietary fibre in porridge and are also used extensively in biomedical and cosmetic applications.

Further research is required to understand the new polysaccharide’s potential uses.

Dr Little said the properties of the new polysaccharide could be manipulated to suit the desired function, increasing the range of potential uses.

He said the genes involved in the biosynthesis of the new polysaccharide were also discovered as part of the research.

“The same genes can be found in all major cereal crops – not just barley,” Dr Little said.

“We can now use this knowledge to find ways of increasing these polysaccharides in crops, providing the possibility of generating plant material with a range of potentially different physical properties for industrial applications.

“By observing natural variation of the polysaccharide in different cereal crops we will aim to identify links to important agricultural traits.”