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Green jackfruit flour lower down type-2 diabetes: study

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Green Jackfruit Flour in lower down plasma glucose level in patients with type-2 diabetes

India stands first in jackfruit production in the world, and as per the available figures, during the year 2018-19 we produced 18.57 lakh tonnes of jackfruit.

Tripura is known for being the top jackfruit producer in India. The total cultivation has been 291.59 tonnes and contributed about 16.84% of its share to India’s total production.

In South India i.e. Tamil Nadu and Kerala alone, demand for jackfruit is now 100 metric tonnes every day during the peak season, yielding a turnover of $19.8 million a year, resulting in the livelihood enhancement of the farmers.

A new study led by the start-up Jackfruit365 has found that adding one tablespoon of green jackfruit flour per person per meal for all three meals reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes and helps manage plasma glucose levels in people who have diabetes.

Besides, Jackfruit contains vital vitamins and nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, vitamin B6 and C that are essential for the body.

A study published in “Nature” group Journal says that the mean glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) at week 12 was significantly lower in patients supplemented with jackfruit flour, while those who were given placebo flour had reported a slight increase in HbA1c at week 12 (p = 0.006).

The study was conducted by Dr A G Unnikrishnan, Dr A Gopal Rao, Dr K Sunil Naik & James Joseph, who evaluated the efficacy of Jackfruit365 green jackfruit flour, a patented product made from 100 per cent mature green unripe jackfruits of India, as an integral part of daily meal in patients with Type-2 diabetes.

A total of 40 patients were enrolled and a significantly higher reduction in HbA1c was observed in those belonging to Group A, who were given green jackfruit flour, compared to Group B.

The mean change in FPG (The fasting plasma glucose) and PPG (Postprandial Plasma Glucose) was significantly higher in Group A than that of Group B (p = 0.043 and p = 0.001).

The continuous glucose monitoring showed decreasing mean blood glucose in 7 days of administration of jackfruit flour meal.

Patients from Group A had a significantly higher reduction in HbA1c, FPG, and PPG than Group B demonstrating the efficacy of jackfruit flour in glycemic control as medical nutrition therapy replacing an equal volume of rice or wheat flour in daily meals.

This was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted between May 2019 and February 2020.

Patients of either sex aged 18 to 60 years with a diagnosis of T2DM for one year receiving oral anti hyperglycemic agents were randomized (1:1) to receive either jackfruit flour 30 g/day (Group A) or placebo flour (Group B) (breakfast and dinner) daily for 12 weeks replacing an equal volume of rice or wheat flour in traditional Indian meals.

James Joseph, the study’s Lead Co-Author & Founder – Jackfruit365.com, said ‘’Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is the first option for Diabetes Care as per ADA guidelines. This study has proven that it is possible to practice MNT in India for a long duration using Jackfruit365 flour’’.

According to Dr AG Unnikirshinan, Endocrinologist & CEO – Chellaram Diabetes Institute (Pune), “The result of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, including continuous glucose monitoring highlight the benefits of green jackfruit flour for medical nutrition therapy in diabetes. This is a scientific advancement in diabetes from India for India and these results could inspire further research on a traditional Indian diet.”

‘’I hope that the findings of this research translate into better use of medical nutrition therapy in Type 2 diabetes care in India,” he added further.

Intervention was culturally sensitive and integrated into traditional home-cooked foods like roti and idli. This helped achieve the high degree of adherence to the intervention for a full HbAlc cycle of three months,” said Dr A Gopal Rao, Assistant Professor, General Medicine – Govt Medical College, Srikakulam (Andhra Pradesh).

“He also pointed to a highlight of the study which was the ease of intervention of green jackfruit flour and placebo in a home setting in India.”

Concluding the study, Dr Banshi Saboo, President – Research Society for Studies in Diabetes in India, said,‘’ It is a wonderful example of how the scientific community and start-up entrepreneurs can work together to produce results that are relevant to clinical care. Now, the publication of this study in a reputed international journal highlights that the scientific community is keen to accept evidence on traditional Indian food and medicines, when tested with a rigorous study design based on the principles of evidence-based medicine.”

Adding further Dr Saboo said, “I have observed the journey of Green Jackfruit Flour at various stages of research, from both presentations in scientific conferences like Diabetes India, and internationally too.’’

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