Know someone with Diabetes? Tell Them About Graviola!

Can Graviola/Soursop Help With Diabetes?

I recently received an email from one of my customers asking if graviola leaves would cure his diabetes. In this case, I was unable to give him a direct answer because frankly, I had yet to come to my own conclusions on this subject.

I often come across articles on the internet saying that soursop can help with diabetes. I regularly read such articles in order to keep up to date with various studies and findings concerning soursop. However, in the majority of such articles, a couple of things tend to stand out: the posts often do not provide links to any of the related research, using unspecific phrases in their descriptions such as “a recent study shows that …”, or “soursop has been found to…”, and they tend not to mention which part of the soursop tree is used. Is it the leaves, or the fruit?

In other words, I was always left with the questions: “can graviola help with diabetes?”, if so “how does it work?” and “which part of the soursop plant helps?”

Naturally, I prefer to leave no stone unturned, so I connected to various databases, and sought out the actual research papers concerning Annona muricata (the latin name for soursop, or graviola - see more information here) and diabetes, hoping to come to my own conclusion.

I meticulously read through many laboratory studies that effectively show that graviola can have a positive impact on diabetes… in laboratory rats!

Background Information

Before I delve into some of the case studies, a bit of background information is in store.

Diabetes mellitus (DM), generally referred to as diabetes, occurs when a person has high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period, resulting in serious health complications. Diabetes is caused because either the pancreas (Type 1 DM) is not producing enough insulin or the body is not responding properly to insulin (Type 2 DM).

Diabetes afflicts more than 380 million people worldwide and the World Health Organization expects this number to more than double by 2030. At today’s level diabetes takes more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined and is a leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, cardiovascular problems and stroke.[1]

Annona Muricata & Diabetes Research

Here are some of the main findings from each of the explored research papers:

A study conducted at the University of Yaounde in Camaroon used a group of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats to test the impact of an Annona muricata plant extract on diabetes. Streptozotocin is a naturally occurring chemical that is particularly toxic to the insulin-producing beta-cells of the pancreas in mammals and is used to induce Type 1 diabetes in animals for the purpose of research. The study demonstrates that injecting diabetic rats with a soursop extract reduced the blood glucose levels in the rats and restored cholesterol and other fats, compared to the untreated diabetic rats. The study concludes that “…the antidiabetic activity of Annona muricata aqueous extract can be explained by its hypolipidemic effect [reduction of lipid fats in the blood], its antioxidant and protective action on pancreatic β-cells, which in turn improve glucose metabolism.” [2]

A similar study from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria finds that soursop possesses anti-hyperglycemic activities. The study was again performed on laboratory rats, where “a significant difference exists between the blood glucose concentrations of treated and untreated hyperglycemic groups of rats.” [3]

Another study from the Obafemi Awolowo University concludes that the beta-cells of pancreatic islets (see next paragraph for definition) of diabetic rats regenerated after treatment with an extract of Annona muricata. [4]

Pancreatic islets are clusters of cells within the pancreas which work together to regulate blood sugar. A particular type of cell known as beta-cells sense sugar in the blood, and release a necessary amount of insulin required to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly assume beta cells to be a “threat” and therefore destroys them. This means that the body can no longer produce the insulin required to transform food into energy. The above study shows that Annona muricata helps these cells to regenerate, thereby destabilizing blood glucose levels.

Yet another study carried out on rats at the Department of Pharmacology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa finds that extracts of the graviola leaf has a beneficial effect on hepatic tissues which indirectly enhances the production of insulin and endogenous antioxidants in the body. [5]

The Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Marília in Brazil conducted a study on a close relative of soursop called Anonna montana, popularly known in Brazil as “false graviola” and came to similar conclusions, stating that “the use of A. montana may have beneficial effects in the prevention of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia and may thus contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.” [6]

What surprised me

After reading these studies, I thought to myself, “Wow, this is really incredible!”

I did not find a single study indicating that Annona muricata does not have a positive impact on blood glucose levels. An interesting point of note is that these studies focus on Annona muricata extracts taken primarily from soursop leaves. NOT the fruit, as many bloggers would have you believe, but from the plant itself. Just so you know, it is possible to make your own graviola extract simply by infusing the leaves.

Nevertheless, several questions did pop into my head: why are all of the above mentioned studies from African and South American universities? What do the Western institutions say about this? Why is the research relatively limited?

The first question, why do all of these studies come out of Africa and South America, was quickly answered. I came across several ethnographic studies which report the use of soursop in areas of Africa [7], the Caribbean (notably in Trinidad and Tabago) [8], and South America [6] as a natural, local remedy to fight diabetes. So it makes sense that local institutions would want to better explore this treatment.

The second question, “What do Western institutions say about this” was actually very disappointing. I checked the publicly available databases of major Western diabetes research institutions and could not find any mention of Annona muricata, graviola or soursop: The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation [9], nothing… The Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research in Germany [10], nothing… The Joslin Diabetes Center [11], zip… The University of California San Francisco Diabetes Center [12], nill… The American Diabetes Association [13], nada…

In other words, Annona muricata and diabetes seems to be totally ignored by Western Institutions.

Why is this? Obviously, I can only offer a guess. One possible explanation is that the research coming out of non-Western institutions is relatively recent, from 2008 onwards, and has yet to make its way to other parts of the world. The other is that because soursop does not grow in colder climates, it is relatively unknown among local populations and therefore has not yet been “discovered” by Western institutions.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to promote soursop as a diabetes treatment. Its aim is instead to provide you with more information so that you can come to your own conclusion.

Personally, I believe that the research is promising. All of the above mentioned studies indicate that soursop/graviola has a beneficial impact on blood sugar levels, and may therefore help to treat diabetes. Keep in mind that all of these studies were performed in a laboratory environment on rats, not human patients, so they should not be considered as “medically conclusive”.

For those of you looking for a homeopathic diabetes regime, graviola leaves may be a good way to go. Here is an article with recommended serving suggestions when using soursop products for their health benefits. Just speak to your physician before trying!

Resources

[1]Diabetes Research Institute Foundation: http://www.diabetesresearch.org/what-is-diabetes

[2] Florence NT, Benoit MZ, Jonas K, Alexandra T, Désiré DD, Pierre K, Théophile D. Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of Annona muricata (Annonaceae), aqueous extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol [Internet]. 2014 Feb 3;151(2):784-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.09.021. Epub 2013 Sep 25. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24076471#

[3] Adeyemi DO, Komolafe OA, Adewole OS, Obuotor EM, Adenowo TK. Anti hyperglycemic activities of Annona muricata (Linn). Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2008 Oct 25;6(1):62-9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20162043#

[4] Adeyemi DO, Komolafe OA, Adewole OS, Obuotor EM, Abiodun AA, Adenowo TK. Histomorphological and morphometric studies of the pancreatic islet cells of diabetic rats treated with extracts of Annona muricata. Folia Morphol (Warsz) [Internet]. 2010 May;69(2):92-100. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20512759#

[5] Adewole SO, Ojewole JA. Protective effects of Annona muricata Linn. (Annonaceae) leaf aqueous extract on serum lipid profiles and oxidative stress in hepatocytes of streptozotocin-treated diabetic rats. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2008 Oct 25;6(1):30-41. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20162039

[6] Barbalho SM, Soares de Souza Mda S, dos Santos Bueno PC, Guiguer EL, Farinazzi-Machado FM, Araújo AC, Meneguim CO, Pascoal Silveira E, de Souza Oliveira N, da Silva BC, Barbosa Sda S, Mendes CG, Gonçalves PR. Annona montana fruit and leaves improve the glycemic and lipid profiles of Wistar rats. J Med Food. 2012 Oct;15(10):917-22. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0088. Epub 2012 Aug 2. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=soursop+diabetes+brazil

[7] Karou SD, Tchacondo T, Djikpo Tchibozo MA, Abdoul-Rahaman S, Anani K, Koudouvo K, Batawila K, Agbonon A, Simpore J, de Souza C. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used in the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the Central Region of Togo. Pharm Biol. 2011 Dec;49(12):1286-97. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2011.621959. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22077164

[8] Lans CA. Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2006 Oct 13;2:45. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17040567

[9] http://www.diabetesresearch.org/

[10] https://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/idr/index.html

[11] http://www.joslin.org/

[12] http://www.diabetes.ucsf.edu/research

[13] http://www.diabetes.org/?loc=logo

 

 


Graviola Tea Company
Graviola Tea Company

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22 Responses

Nina
Nina

November 15, 2018

Iam type 2 diabetic and on isulin jab. can i still take this soursop tea . does it has side effect for those on medication?

Edna Victory
Edna Victory

November 15, 2018

I read all the comment, and I would continue to use my sour sop leaves, I am a prediabetic .

Edna Victory
Edna Victory

November 15, 2018

I read all the comment, and I would continue to use my sour sop leaves, I am a prediabetic .

Adebayo Oni
Adebayo Oni

August 29, 2018

Pls how many leaves someone can use for diabetes and how to prepare it then how long will one take it as dosage or how can someone use soursoup leave for diabeties

Sleek
Sleek

April 03, 2018

How do I use d leave should i boil it with water an then drink d water as tea,or how does it work pls more detials

Maria
Maria

March 22, 2018

My understanding, from the blog post, is that it is mainly helpful for type 1 diabetes, not necessarily type 2. I ordered leaves to make tea for my father who has cancer and also type 2 diabetes. My main concern is that it could lower the blood sugar too much, which is an even more dangerous situation than having it too high. Is there any indication that graviola leaves could send a diabetic into a hypoglycemic state?

David Lungu
David Lungu

March 10, 2018

I have a number of relatives and friends who are diabetic, one has cancer. How can we access this wonderful fruit and leaves. Please help

David Lungu
David Lungu

March 10, 2018

I have a number of relatives and friends who are diabetic, one has cancer. How can we access this wonderful fruit and leaves. Please help

David Lungu
David Lungu

March 10, 2018

I have a number of relatives and friends who are diabetic, one has cancer. How can we access this wonderful fruit and leaves. Please help

Robert J Simpkins
Robert J Simpkins

January 08, 2018

i just began to take the Graviola leaf 1400 mg….this is my first day and i will be updating in about a couple of days….i hope for the best….i am tired of my diabetes…. high blood pressure and Glaucoma…..i just want some relief….either way…. i am a positive person… and i will keep hoping for the best….you know like they say ….keep hope alive….this just might be the solution to my problems…i wish you all the best …and i hope you get the results your so striving for…..always remember it gets darker before it gets brighter….and we all have been through the dark times….now it’s time to see the light….stay strong good people

Hilary Vlahakis
Hilary Vlahakis

December 16, 2017

Please explain how many leaves do I use to make the tea,do I boil them do I dry them first? How much do I drink a day?

Besdy
Besdy

November 20, 2017

Oh and btw. . we purchased our bottle form
Wellington in NZ.?

Bessy
Bessy

November 20, 2017

Your study on Graviola is very interesting.Im looking for something to help my 11 yr old step son who has type 1 diabetes.I had purchased some graviola and had only heard about it through my brother who was looking for something to try and help our Dad with his cancer,unfortunately we left that a bit to late and our Dad passed after we received the graviola.On learning that we had purchased it however my daughter told us that they use it on a regular in Fiji for every ailment.Shocked,bewildered and glad that there is something out there and although we weren’t able to help our Dad we now know rhat we can help others.

T.E L Frith (USA)
T.E L Frith (USA)

September 27, 2017

I am Pre-Diabetic with counts in FBS 101-166 daily – depending my my diet intake. although I take a mixture of herbal supplements – I did add “Pure Graviloa” to the mix last night. I ate a late dinner of 5 pieces of pizza (lots of Crust). this morning it was 117 FBS, not perfect but I am amazed it was that low. I added up my dinner intake : 58 Carbs, 6 Fiber, 8 sugar, 32 protein. Now that is enough for my body to be thrown into elevate BS during the resting sleep hours of the night. BUT in fact I was very delighted to fine my morning FBS to be 117. This was my test to see if the SourSop supplement worked- it seems pretty promising to me. I am going to try another diet intake test tonight with fried chicken and tator tots and take only the " Pure Graviloa" 500 mg (1/2 dose) this evening an record my findings the Tomorrow AM to see what my FBS stats are…………….. I am hoping for some similar #‘s. I am pushing the limits here of myself to see, but I am courious to see the result. Up to now I have been taking Bitter Melon and many other herbal supplement and they have been useful in maintaining my BS within 125-140’s but I have NOT been able to eat sugar or CARBs, I mean keep my diet intake to lean meats, no sugar, and 16 CARBs a day. IT hard to live and eat like this in USA. Cant dine out or attend a dinner event with friends, it hard to manage. So I am very excited to use “Pure Graviola” its a ray of sunshine ! Thank you for the Blog and have a great day. I will post again soon to update the results after9/27/2017.

ulimar taya
ulimar taya

August 13, 2017

thanks,for the information god bless you and your company.

Miro
Miro

July 03, 2017

Here on Guam we have abundant amount of these fruit trees. (soursop/graviola tree) I’ve used this for awhile now. And my blood sugar level has normalized in just two days. I’ve completely stop my medication and continued the graviola leaf tea. Best time to take this tea was after ever meal. To prepare this tea. I used fresh picked mature leaves. Air dry them for about ten days. So get lots of leaves to air dry. Warm air drying is best. Dry leaves are more stronger. Cook about six to eight 4inch whole leaves in low simmering heat for about thirty minutes. Let sit till cool. Drink plain no sweeteners. Really have no taste. Don’t reserve any past eight hours. I’ve heard the potency last only eight hours. Don’t know if that is true. But okay… To me it helps with my high sugar levels go normal.

A. Noah Kai
A. Noah Kai

July 02, 2017

I hope for a detailed information… Thank you.

Hugo Torrado
Hugo Torrado

December 16, 2016

I will give graviola to my daughter with diabetic type 2 her pancreas work not normal, and will do a mix of graviola and moringa another natural seed that control the diabetic sintoms. Best regards to graviola tea company for the info.

Folasade Abidakun
Folasade Abidakun

November 27, 2016

Thanks for the information, but you have not given us how many leaves to use, Pls explain more, thanks

Rick
Rick

January 22, 2016

Brain’s back in place. Just ordered some Graviola EX on line. Thanks for the write up. Got it for 10.99 on Amazon Prime. Whoo!

John - Graviola Tea Company
John - Graviola Tea Company

July 07, 2015

Hi Lena,

Thank you for your comment! I would be very interested to know how the graviola is working out for your diabetes. Please email me at graviolateacompany@gmail.com with any updates.

Thanks!

Lena
Lena

June 29, 2015

Thank you for your honest report I did start using the sour sop leaves as a tea because i recently had a total hysterectomy and from information obtained from other sites i decided to use it to eradicate any lingering cancer cells I am also going to have chemo since there is no conclusive scientific proof that the leaves work. However I am also a diabetic and I have noticed a drop in my finger-stick readings I have also changed my diet so I cant say for sure that it is the leaves alone I just starteda few days ago will keep you updated

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