Herbal plant proves effective against diabetes hinh anh 1Gymnema latifolium (Photo: VietnamPlus)


Hanoi (VNA) – With the ability to remarkably reduce blood sugar, Gymnema latifolium, which is a perennial woody vine, helps stabilise blood sugar and prevents complications for patients of both type 1 and 2 diabetes.

At present, diabetes has become a serious health problem of the 21st century. In Vietnam, the number of people with diabetes has skyrocketed in recent years.

Notably, the proportion of younger people with diabetes has risen, as children of age 9 and 10 are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The information was revealed by Prof. Thai Hong Quang, President of the Vietnam Association of Diabetes and Endocrinology, at a ceremony to announce outcomes of a ministerial-level research and to hand over a cultivation area of Gymnema latifolium to produce DKBetics for diabetes treatment, which was jointly organised by the Hanoi-based University of Pharmacy and the DK Pharma Joint Stock Company.

29,000 deaths per year due to diabetes

Statistics of the Ministry of Health showed that diabetes has become a dangerous disease across the world and in Vietnam in particular.

Vietnam is located in the “hot spot” of diabetes in the west of Pacific, which is the hardest-hit area by the pandemic. The country is home to about 3.53 million people living with the disease, or 6 percent of the population in 2017, surging 10 times compared to 10 years ago and the figure is projected to rise to 6.1 million in 2040.

With about 29,000 deaths per year due to related side effects, diabetes is the third deadly non-communicable disease in Vietnam, following cardiovascular diseases and cancer, thus it is named the silent killer.

Quang said that the number of people with diabetes have increased rapidly in Vietnam, with the rising proportion of young patients.

A research on adults with type 2 diabetes carried out in 1990-91 showed that the rate of diabetes patients in Hanoi accounts for 1.1 percent, Hue - 0.96 percent and Ho Chi Minh City - 2.2 percent.

Herbal plant proves effective against diabetes hinh anh 2

Prof. Thai Hong Quang, President of the Vietnam Association of Diabetes and Endocrinology, speaks at the event (Photo: VietnamPlus)

In 2012, the national programme on diabetes prevention launched a national research which showed that diabetes patients make up for 5.4 percent of the population. In major cities namely Hanoi, HCM City and Hue, the percentage stood between 6 percent and 8 percent.

Type 2 diabetes is normally seen in people aged 40 and above. However, a number of health facilities receive nine-year-old children with this type, raising a question why the number of young patients with diabetes is surging.

The problem is attributable to unhealthy diet and lack of exercise in the modern life, in addition to heredity factors. In the modern life, children of wealthy families often consume fast food and avoid physical exercise, resulting in obesity and then diabetes, Quang pointed out.

He added that there is no cure for diabetes, as it needs early intervention and diagnosis to slow down the development of the disease.

“Awaking” Gymnema latifolium

Prof. Tran Van On, former head of the Department Of Botany under the Hanoi University of Pharmacy and head of the research team, described that Gymnema latifolium is the “golden herbal plant” of the forest for people with diabetes.

Herbal plant proves effective against diabetes hinh anh 3Gymnema sylvestre (Photo: VietnamPlus)

In more than 2,000 years ago, Gymnema sylvestre was used in Indian traditional medicine for diabetes. However, it remained unknown in Vietnam for a long time.

In 2006, after 200 days and nights crossing the mountain and forest, On was the first one to see the herbal plant. Ten years later, he discovered Gymnema latifolium whose leaves are five times bigger than the original Gymnema sylvestre.

The ability to reduce blood sugar of Gymnema latifolium also helps to stabilise blood sugar and prevent complications of both types of diabetes. The vine is currently grown in Thai Nguyen province under the GACP-WHO standards./.