Kochi, June 13 (IANS) Jackfruit, when ripe, is one of the sweetest fruits. But raw jackfruit has become a defense against diabetes. According to a study, presented at the American Diabetes Association’s annual conference in Chicago on Saturday via video link, it lowers plasma glucose levels.
James Joseph, 49, an engineer turned entrepreneur, had been doing research for some time. For the research, Joseph partnered with two health professionals attached to the Government Medical College in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.
After getting clearance from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), he conducted the trial and the test group included 40 people – 24 men and 16 women – with type 2 diabetes. Their average age was 46.20 Â± 9.12 years.
During the study, participants were given flour made from green jackfruit flour. Their baseline mean HbA1c was 7.23 Â± 0.47 percent. At the end of the 12-week study, the mean HbA1c was 6.98 Â± 0.48 percent. âFasting and postprandial plasma glucose levels also showed similar improvements in participants,â Joseph said.
The hemoglobin A1c test provides information about the average level of sugar in the blood over the past two or three months. Also called HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin and glycohemoglobin test, people with diabetes regularly take the test to see if the levels are within the range. It helps adjust diabetes medication. The A1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes.
Speaking to IANS, Joseph said it was in 2015 that he began to discover the properties of green jackfruit. âIn 2016, I started my company, God’s Own Food Solutions, to research and explore the properties of jackfruit. In 2016, with the ME Meeran Foundation – one of the largest spice exporters in the country, he created a joint venture – the Diet Fiber 365 company, âsaid Joseph.
The JV manufactures green jackfruit flour. It was patented in India and the US patent was in its final stages, Joseph said. The company markets green jackfruit flour in sachets of 200 grams.
Joseph, who worked with Microsoft in the UK and Bengaluru, resigned in 2012 and since 2014 has been focusing on jackfruit properties. He attributes his study to a chance meeting with former APJ President Abdul Kalam on November 25, 2014.
Calling this miracle product, Joseph said that when incorporated into local food, it turned out to have worked wonders. When 30 grams per day were introduced into the daily menu, most diabetics showed a significant reduction in their blood sugar levels.
This green jackfruit powder could be added to the flour mixture of idli, dosa and in the making of breads made from flour, he added.
It is believed to be native to the rainforests in the southwest of the country, the word jackfruit comes from the Portuguese jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam word, chakka. Jackfruits are in abundance in the state.
The study – “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the hypoglycemic effect of jackfruit365 green jackfruit flour in patients with type 2 diabetes” – was co-authored by healthcare professionals A Gopal Rao and Sunil Nayak. It was published in the latest issue of the journal Diabetes of the American Diabetes Association.
Mohandas Pai, chairman of the board of Manipal Global, said he has had a spoonful of it in his breakfast porridge and in green tea after dinner every day for the past two years. âIt definitely helped me control my blood sugar levels,â Pai said.
Another man, 60, said he took 90 units of insulin to control his blood sugar for five years. âOver the past two years, I have started adding a tablespoon of it to my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Within a year, I was able to stop insulin and control my blood sugar with just tablets.
âIt saved me money, pain and embarrassment when I ate out,â he said.
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