Introduction: Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high blood glucose in patients. In spite of numerous progresses have been achieved in diabetes research and care, it is still challenging to cure diabetes. The objective of this study was to explore a new approach to treat diabetes with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Materials and Method: The Traditional Chinese Medicine used in this study was a natural bio-product(s) (NBP) which has been used for humans for several hundred years. This NBP was dried and grinded into powders and capsulated (patent pending). Based on the degree of severity determined by OGTT data analysis, patients took 4.5g - 30g of this NBP orally per day for 3 to 24 months, and might take prescribed medicines (Gliclazide MR, Metformin, and/or Saxagliptin) at the initial stage of therapy. Starting on the first day of therapy, the patients discontinued the insulin injection if they had relied on it.
Results: The patients ranged from 34 yo to 73 yo (mean=55.6 yo, n=18). Before therapy, six of 18 patients were on a regular insulin injection with various dosages, and the mean HbA1c was 7.65 (SD=1.97, n=18). After therapy (without any insulin injection) for an average of 231 days (97-748 days), the mean HbA1c was 6.61 (SD=0.86, n=18). The difference was statistically different (t-test, p=0.008). Ten of 18 patients were on western medicines for an average of 77 days while the rest took NBP only. The insulin resistance (estimated by HOMA-IR) decreased and the disposition index (estimated at 2-h OGTT) increased in 12 of the 18 patients.
Discussion and Conclusion: This NBP can effectively control plasma glucose level by reducing the insulin resistance and enhancing the beta cell functions. However, its exact mechanism is not clear, partially because this NBP is a compound which may affect multiple systems simultaneously. This method might not be suitable for all patients with T2DM. Further studies are needed in order to fully understand its mechanisms for controlling plasma glucose level.
X. Hua: Board Member; Self; CYX Biotechnology Ltd. A.Y. Huang: Research Support; Self; CYX Biotechnology Co.