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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 5 (2008), Issue 4, Pages 421-428
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem047
Original Article

Maintaining a Physiological Blood Glucose Level with ‘Glucolevel’, a Combination of Four Anti-Diabetes Plants Used in the Traditional Arab Herbal Medicine

1Antaki Center for Herbal Medicine Ltd Kfar Kana 16930, PO Box 2205, Israel
2Research and Development Regional Center (affiliated with Haifa University, Haifa, Israel) - The Galilee Society, PO Box 437, Shefa Amr 20200, Israel
3Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, The Arab American University Jenin, PO Box 240, Jenin, Palestinian Authority
4Sprunk-Jansen A/S, Strandvejen 100, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark
5Research and Development Regional Center - The Galilee Society, PO Box 2205, Kfar Kana 16930, Israel

Received 13 July 2006; Accepted 5 March 2007

Copyright © 2008 Omar Said et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Safety and anti-diabetic effects of Glucolevel, a mixture of dry extract of leaves of the Juglans regia L, Olea europea L, Urtica dioica L and Atriplex halimus L were evaluated using in vivo and in vitro test systems. No sign of toxic effects (using LDH assay) were seen in cultured human fibroblasts treated with increasing concentrations of Glucolevel. Similar observations were seen in vivo studies using rats (LD50: 25 g/kg). Anti-diabetic effects were evidenced by the augmentation of glucose uptake by yeast cells (2-folds higher) and by inhibition of glucose intestinal absorption (∼49%) in a rat gut-segment. Furthermore, treatment with Glucolevel of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats for 2–3 weeks showed a significant reduction in glucose levels [above 400 ± 50 mg/dl to 210 ± 22 mg/dl (P < 0.001)] and significantly improved sugar uptake during the glucose tolerance test, compared with positive control. In addition, glucose levels were tested in sixteen human volunteers, with the recent onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus, who received Glucolevel tablets 1 × 3 daily for a period of 4 weeks. Within the first week of Glucolevel consumption, baseline glucose levels were significantly reduced from 290 ± 40 to 210 ± 20 mg/dl. At baseline, a subgroup of eleven of these subjects had glucose levels below 300 mg% and the other subgroup had levels ≥ 300 mg%. Clinically acceptable glucose levels were achieved during the 2–3 weeks of therapy in the former subgroup and during the 4th week of therapy in the latter subgroup. No side effect was reported. In addition, a significant reduction in hemoglobin A1C values (8.2 ± 1.03 to 6.9 ± 0.94) was found in six patients treated with Glucolevel. Results demonstrate safety, tolerability and efficacy of herbal combinations of four plants that seem to act differently but synergistically to regulate glucose-homeostasis.