Fig extract positively influences blood sugar levels

This initial study suggests that ABAlife fig extract may be a beneficial dietary supplement as an adjunctive treatment for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

Green figs

A recently published human study from the University of Sydney, Australia, evaluated the efficacy of ABAlife on glucose metabolism blood parameters.1 The abscisic acid (ABA) standardised 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 too.2

ABAlife is a patented extract from Barcelona-based Euromed, a manufacturer of therapeutic botanical extracts, and available for dietary supplements.

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. It was a randomised, double-blind crossover study, where researchers investigated the effects of two different ABA doses in fig extracts (100 mg and 200 mg) on postprandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy subjects.

Figs have one of the highest ABA concentrations found in nature

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 metabolise a carbohydrate meal.

ABAlife is a whole fruit extract that’s produced from figs according to the high-quality standards of Euromed and purified using a carefully controlled process to achieve a high, standardised ABA content. The ingredient delivers the scientifically proven health benefits of ABA while avoiding the additional calories associated with eating figs.

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.

The ingredient delivers the health benefits of ABA while avoiding the additional calories

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.

1 – Atkinson 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.

2 – Zocchi E, Hontecillas R, Leber A, et al. (2017) Abscisic Acid: A Novel Nutraceutical for Glycemic Control. Front. Nutr. 4:24.

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