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Asparagus officinalis extract controls blood glucose by improving insulin secretion and β-cell function in streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats

Diet (nutrition) plays an important role in the management of diabetes, and for preventing and/or delaying the development of type 2 diabetes. Dietary approaches can be used alone (in the case of the onset of type 2 diabetes and in mild hyperglycaemia) or in combination with oral hypoglycaemic agents or insulin. Often, the success or failure of the management of diabetes depends on the knowledge of the diabetic patient regarding the dietary principles related to diabetes. Although there have been major advances in the control of diabetes through oral hypoglycaemic agents and insulin, the management of diabetes by dietary agents such as vegetables, fruits and spices is more appropriate and economical in developing countries such as Pakistan. There is an inverse association between vegetable consumption and chronic disease reduction, such as cancer, CVD and diabetes.

Asparagus officinalis L. is a dietary agent native to most European, African and Asian countries. Its medicinal usage has been reported in the British and Indian Pharmacopoeias and in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine in many countries, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. Asparagus is frequently used in salads, vegetable dishes and soups. Green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C and its stalks are rich in antioxidants. Among the vegetables commonly consumed in the USA and Europe, asparagus has been reported to be a rich source of antioxidants, in terms of both quality and quantity. In a comparative study among thirty-four fruits and vegetables, asparagus has been placed 7th in the rank of radical scavengers and 13th in ferric-reducing power.

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