Blood glucose . . . on track with the best of purslanea herb worth eating

Blood glucose . . . on track with the best of purslanea herb worth eating.

Blood glucose (blood sugar) is an essential
measure of health and well-being. As a key source
of energy for all tissues, blood glucose levels can
affect e.g. how energetic we feel or how hungry
we are. Several interacting systems regulate blood
sugar to maintain the level within a narrow range
necessary for our body to function. The hormone
insulin which is primarily secreted by the pancreas
in response to elevated blood glucose is the most
important regulator, as it makes glucose available
to the cells of the body. Major factors that can
increase blood glucose levels include glucose
absorption by the intestine (after ingesting a meal)
and the production of new glucose molecules by
the liver. When blood glucose is low, e.g. between
meals or during exercise, the hormone glucagon
causes the liver to release stored glucose from the
cells into the blood. Thus, in healthy individuals
fasting blood glucose levels remain stable between
70 and 100 mg/dl1.
A growing epidemic: taking aim at managing blood
Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is not only important for
individuals with diabetes, but also for healthy people. However,
promoted by unhealthy lifestyles, millions of people are struggling
with managing healthy blood glucose levels. Above normal
blood glucose concentrations – a state called pre-diabetes –
are becoming more and more common around the globe. It is
estimated that as many as 40 % of 40-74 year olds have the
condition in the US and over 60 million in Europe. Thirty percent
of the people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes, a
metabolic disorder affecting an estimated 150 million individuals
worldwide². Persistently elevated concentrations of glucose
in the blood negatively affect the health of blood vessels, the
heart and nerves. Even more alarming, the incidence of children
and adolescents with type 2 diabetes having already signs of
complications is increasing constantly. Nutrition plays an important
role in the management of blood glucose and associated
complications in diabetes. This is attributed to the ability of foodbased
ingredients to modulate blood glucose without causing any
adverse health consequences.
Purslane – much more than an ancient weed
Rich in valuable nutrients, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is known
as a healthy culinary weed throughout the world and has a long
tradition of medical use. In Near Eastern folk medicine purslane
herb is treasured for its anti-diabetic properties. Preclinical
studies in rodents have confirmed that purslane positively affects
blood glucose metabolism by increasing serum insulin levels and
insulin sensitivity, decreasing blood glucose and free fatty acids,
improving glucose tolerance as well as reducing body weight4,5.
Additionally, a recently published study in diabetic mice and
vascular endothelial cells indicated that purslane may ameliorate
microvascular complications through inhibition of inflammation5,6.
Based on anecdotal hints and first preclinical data, Frutarom has
developed a scientifically supported, highly concentrated purslane
herb extract, PortusanaTM (EFLA®308). Portusana TM has been
shown in vitro to support blood glucose metabolism by acting on
three key mechanisms (Figure 1):
(1) Glucose absorption: PortusanaTM significantly reduces intestinal
glucose absorption in Caco-2 cells7 indicating a beneficial effect
on the glycemic load of food for the body.
(2) Cellular glucose update: PortusanaTM significantly and dosedependently
stimulates blood glucose uptake into the cells, both in
the presence and absence of insulin.
(3) Insulin sensitivity: PortusanaTM modulates the nuclear receptor
PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma), a
receptor regulating amongst others glucose metabolism, resulting
in increased insulin sensitivity and decreased blood glucose
Figure 1: Triple mode of action of PortusanaTM
Significant benefits observed in clinical studies
To assess the efficacy and safety Frutarom´s unique purslane
herbal extract in humans, an open, uncontrolled pilot study was
performed in participants with elevated blood glucose not taking
blood glucose modulating medication. The supplementation of oral
doses equivalent to 180 mg/d purslane herb extract for five weeks
was well tolerated and resulted in a progressive improvement of
blood glucose levels over time8. Encouraged by this promising
finding, a clinical trial was carried out to confirm these results. In a
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 63 patients
with type 2 diabetes received 3x 60mg purslane herb extract
or placebo daily for 12 weeks. Already after six weeks, HbA1c
(glycated hemoglobin), a marker for long-term blood glucose
control, had improved in almost 80% of patients. After 12 weeks,
Frutarom’s purslane herb extract significantly reduced HbA1c from
average 7.38% to 6.53% (Figure 2) outperforming placebo by 44%
( ≤ 6.5 is regarded as “good glucose control” e.g. recommended
by the American College of Endocrinology and indicates good
glucose control).
Blood glucose
. . . on track with the best of purslanea
herb worth eating
Figure 2: Significant improvement of HbA1c with purslane herbal
extract in responding patients. Data present the difference from
baseline. * p< 0.05
No safety or tolerance issues were reported9. Based on the
findings of these two studies, it may be concluded that Frutarom´s
purslane herbal extract not only reduces blood glucose levels but
also improves long-term glucose control and thus safely assists in
blood glucose regulation.
Consistent quality for unique products
The quality and consistency of the processed raw material as well
as the extraction and refining technologies are critical to ensure
the uniqueness of herbal extracts and to ensure the efficacy of
a product. For this reason, we control the quality of PortusanaTM
throughout its manufacturing process from the raw material
sourcing to the final product.
Looking ahead – the future of nutritional
ingredients targeting diabetes prevention
When it comes to health and prevention, consumers are looking
for natural solutions as alternatives to prescription medications.
According to a recently published US report , the market value
for nutritional ingredients targeting diabetic management was
at $ 126m in 2012 and is predicted to grow to $240m in 2019.
Experts state that healthy blood sugar is an interesting topic
for consumers. However, as their understanding of glycaemia
management is still quite low, additional communication efforts are
needed to increase public awareness. Proven efficacy of a product
is essential to gain consumers attention and trust. Therefore,
PortusanaTM, with its demonstrated clinical evidence, is the perfect
ingredient for innovative applications in the area of blood glucose
1 Brickell J et al. In: Clinical Chemistry: A laboratory perspective,
p 151, FA Davis Company, Philadelphia, 2007
2 International Diabetes Federation
3 Eskander EF, Won Jun J. Egypt J Pharm Sci 1995; 36(1-6): 331-
4 Shen L, Lu F. CJIM 2003; 9(4): 289-292
5 Lee AS, Lee YJ, Lee SM, Yoon JJ, Kim JS, Kang DG, Lee HS.
Am J Chin Med 2012; 40(3): 495-510
6 Lee AS, Kim JS, Lee YJ, Kang DG, Lee HS. Int J Mol Sci 2012;
13(5): 5628-44
7 Perrinjaquet-Moccetti. 57th International Congress and Annual
Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product
Research. PH 52. Book of abstracts, A8
8. Unpublished, proprietary data by Frutarom.
9 Unpublished, proprietary data by Frutarom