The long held notion that cashews are naturally anti-diabetic has recently come under scrutiny. New research has just come out supporting the traditional claims that cashew tree products fight diabetes. The study was performed by the University of Montreal (Canada) and the Universit├ę de Yaound├ę (Cameroun) and published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Researchers took various parts (seeds, apples, leaves, bark etc.) of cashew trees to test for anti-diabetes properties.
“Of all the extracts tested, only cashew seed extract significantly stimulated blood sugar absorption by muscle cells,” explained Pierre S. Haddad, director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team in Aboriginal Anti-Diabetic Medicines at the University of Montreal. “Extracts of other plant parts had no such effect, indicating that cashew seed extract likely contains active compounds, which can have potential anti-diabetic properties.” “Our study validates the traditional use of cashew tree products in diabetes and points to some of its natural components that can serve to create new oral therapies,” said Haddad who is also the pharmacology professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Medicine. This new research is needed to meet the growing demand for diabetes treatment. Among Americans aged 20 years or younger, less than one-quarter of 1% (about 186,300 people) have diabetes, while among Americans aged 20 years or older, 10.7% (23.5 million people) have diabetes. For more statistics, see CDC’s National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).