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Blueberry Leaf

  • There are many dietary supplement strategies that can be used to support and promote your weight loss efforts in the gym and while you're dieting. Some of these strategies are old, and some are more recent; but rarely can you find a dietary supplement ingredient that approaches the issue of weight loss from an entirely new angle. Consequently, it's been very interesting for me to research and write about blueberry leaf extract.

    Glucose And Fat Storage
    To understand the contribution that Blueberry leaf can make to weight loss, we must first discuss the role of glucose (blood sugar) in relation to weight gain. First of all, glucose is obtained from sugars and other carbohydrates in our diet. All carbohydrates (except for fiber) are generally converted into glucose in our livers.1 The glucose is then used as a fuel in energy metabolism to help power our bodies. But what happens if our energy needs are already met; what does our body do with the glucose? Basically, a healthy body has two choices: it can convert a limited amount of it into glycogen (muscle sugar), and it can convert unlimited amounts of it into body fat which can be stored for an extended period of time.2 As a matter of fact, a small protein in liver cells is largely dedicated to helping convert excess dietary carbohydrates into fat stores.3

    So, besides the obvious avoidance of excessive carbohydrates and sugar-laden foods, what can be done to inhibit this process of converting carbs into fat? There are three strategies, which can be used:

    • Reduce glucose absorption from the diet,
    • Reduce glucose synthesis in the liver,
    • Accelerate glucose metabolism.

    Ideally, the most effective strategy would be to achieve all three at the same time.

    Chlorogenic and Hydroxycinnamic Acids
    Recent research has identified two unique natural compounds that appear to do just that. The two compounds are: chlorogenic and hydroxycinnamic acids. New studies suggest that taken together these two unique compounds:

    • May help to reduce dietary glucose absorption in the intestines,
    • Help reduce glucose synthesis in the liver, and
    • Speed up the metabolism of glucose—simultaneously.

    Here's how it works: The enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) plays a major role in the formation of glucose in our body. Chlorogenic acid was recently discovered to specifically inhibit the activity of this key enzyme. Inhibition of G6P activity in the liver results in a reduction of liver glucose production—which in turn may help reduce high rates of glucose output by the liver.4,5

    In fact, both chlorogenic acid and hydroxycinnamic acid (aka, caffeic acid) are involved in the glucose reduction in our body. Research of Dr. Welsch and his colleges at Rutgers University reveals that glucose absorption in the intestines was reduced to 80 percent in the presence of chlorogenic acid and 30–40 percent in the presence of caffeic acid. These results suggest that both chlorogenic and caffeic acids are involved in the regulation of glucose level including the unique ability to inhibit dietary glucose absorption in intestines.6 Other recent research also indicates that the presence of caffeic acid accelerated the metabolism of glucose, which can reduce the total glucose concentration in circulating blood.7 Results of other studies provide further evidence that caffeic acid is involved in the reduction of blood glucose in diabetic animals.8

    Pharmaceutical companies also actively interested in this important area of research have already synthesized several synthetic analogs of chlorogenic acid. These compounds are potent inhibitors of the glucose-6- phosphatase activity in the human liver.9 Other evidence has also confirmed that chlorogenic acid derivatives reduce blood glucose in animals, which also confirms the blood glucose lowering properties of chlorogenic acid.10,11

    Therefore, it is strongly suggested from all the above that the effectiveness of chlorogenic and caffeic in glucose reduction will depend on whether these compounds are taken simultaneously and in sufficient amounts.

    Blueberry Leaves

    So, what does all this have to do with Blueberry leaves? Surprisingly enough, concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids have recently been discovered in the Blueberry leaves (Vaccinium arctostaphylos L) found in the Caucasian Mountains of the northern region in the Republic of Georgia (in the previous Soviet Union). Interestingly, Caucasians have been using medicinal teas infused with leaves of the blueberry for the self-treatment of diabetes for literally centuries. In light of the previous information about chlorogenic and caffeic acids and their effect on blood glucose levels, this folk use of Blueberry leaves for diabetes makes sense.

    Caucasian blueberry has a legendary reputation as aid to diabetics. Decoctions and infusions of the leaves are used in folk medicine as hypoglycemic agents and are usual major component of "anti-diabetes teas." Even more impressive, in Russia, a standardized blueberry leaf extract, known as "Diabetic Chai Cherniki" was effectively used for the treatment of diabetes, gastric colitis and high cholesterol, and has been repeatedly shown to contain pharmaceutically significant levels of both chlorogenic and caffeic acids.12

    Now back to the concept of using Blueberry leaves extract as a strategy for weight loss. The logic is fairly simple: if you can reduce the amount of glucose that is absorbed, reduce the amount that is manufactured in the liver, and increase the rate at which glucose is metabolized, the result is that you'll likely be able to reduce the conversion of glucose into body fat. Of course, this does not mean that Blueberry leaves extract is a license to eat as much sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods as you'd like, but rather that if you're making an effort to eat a healthy, balanced diet, that Blueberry leaves extract can help prevent the carbohydrates that you are consuming into being converted to body fat. A good dose of blueberry extract is 200 mg.

    References:

    1. Whitney E, Cataldo C, Rolfes S. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, Fifth Edition (1998) West/Wadsworth, Belmont, California. pp. 114.
    2. Whitney E, Cataldo C, Rolfes S. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, Fifth Edition (1998) West/Wadsworth, Belmont, California. pp. 116–8.
    3. Yamashita H, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2001;98:9116.
    4. Arion WJ, et al. Arch Biochem Biophys (1997) 15; 339(2):315–22.
    5. Hemmele H, et al. J Med Chem (1997) 17; 40(2):137–45.
    6. Welsch, et al. J Nutr (1989) 119(11):1698–704.
    7. Cheng JT, Liu IM. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol (2000) 362 (2):122–7.
    8. Hsu FL, Chen YC, Cheng JT. Planta Med (2000) 66(3): 228–30.
    9. Simon, et al. Arch Biochem Biophys (2000) 15; 373(2):410–28.
    10. Herling, et al. Eur J Pharmacol (1999) 386(1):75–82.
    11. Mshavanadze VV. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Science (1971a) 62:189–92.
    12. Mshavanadze VV. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Science (1971b) 62:446–7.
  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the December 2017 issue of TotalHealth Magazine Online.

    Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, in "Exposing Big Fat Lies," gives readers a reality check on "Eat Fat Lose Weight, How Smart Fat Cells Reset Fat Cells To Slim." From the expert, read on.

    Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Benefits Of The "Mushroom Vitamin," discusses the Ergothioneine, an amino acid that is relatively abundant in certain mushrooms, currently is being proposed by a number of scientists as the latest new vitamin.

    This is part one of a two-part series on coenzyme Q10, "Coenzyme Q10: The Miracle Nutrient," by Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN and William V. Judy, PhD. The authors give the history of its discovery, how important the discovery for heart health, blood pressure, its relation to statins, and more. It is a must read for everyone. Next month the authors cover CoQ10 use with cancer and additional illness and as an anti-aging nutrient.

    "The (Piano) Keys To Fibromyalgia Pain Relief," Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, explains the benefit of music for fibromyalgia sufferers and has one artist's CD that he recommends.

    Elson Haas, MD, in this month's article, "The Health Continuum," emphasizes Lifestyle Medicine. "I want to teach and support people to go beyond recovering from whatever problem they came to see me about, as well as learn something relevant about not repeating their illness. I want them to progress along what I call the Health Continuum towards their own Optimal Health."

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), introduction to "Blueberry Leaf & Weight Loss," states "there are many dietary supplement strategies that can be used to support and promote your weight loss efforts in the gym and while you're dieting. Rarely can you find a dietary supplement ingredient that approaches the issue of weight loss from an entirely new angle."

    Gloria Gilbère's, "Christmas & New Year's Culinary Traditions...South American Style," includes a bird's eye view of the holiday customs with four recipes which incorporate the culinary traditions of the area in Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, consults this month on, "Kava Kava For Epilepsy In Pets." Reminding us to always consult with our veterinarian before supplementing our pets' diet.

    In "The Ancient Wisdom of Ayurveda," Jonathan Glass, MAc, CAT, explains the history and how it is used today to support body, mind and soul, protect health, prevent disease, restore lost health, and increase awareness. These intentions are pursued within the context of fulfilling our dharma, or essential life purpose.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND, discusses the worldwide addiction to all things WIFI in "Solutions to Protect You From Our WIFI World" . Learn about the dangers to our health and things you can do to protect yourself and your family from EMFs.

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full December issue.

    Click here to read the full December issue.

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