The role of fenugreek and onion in preventing cardiovascular diseases has been a part of traditional knowledge in India. Now, scientists from the CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, have found out the mechanism by which fenugreek and onion protect heart-related disorders in diabetic patients.

Lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity are on the rise globally. Diabetes or hyperglycemia occurs when the body is unable to utilise sugar in the blood due to insufficient amounts of hormone, insulin. Heart-related disorders are a leading cause of death among diabetics.

In order to understand the mechanism of action of fenugreek and onion, scientists first induced the diabetic condition in mice. The animals were either given their normal diet or a normal diet supplemented with fenugreek or onion, in combination or alone. By examining their cardiac tissue, scientists reaffirmed that the cardiovascular health of mice fed with fenugreek and onion was better.

Earlier, it was known that higher production of an enzyme (angiotensin-converting enzyme or ACE) and receptor (AT1 of renin-angiotensin system) in the cardiac tissue of diabetic patients is a cause of heart-related disorders. Scientists have shown that both the enzyme and receptor are produced to a lesser degree in mice supplemented with fenugreek and onion and, therefore, the entire successive biochemical pathway initiated by these two is attenuated.

Although fenugreek and onion individually were able to ameliorate heart-related disorders in diabetic rats, it was found that they worked better in combination. The research results have been published in journal Cardiovascular Toxicology .

“The fibre-rich fenugreek seeds and sulphur compound-rich onion are now understood to possess significant sugar-lowering as well as lipid-lowering action. They also possess antioxidant potential, which is likely to have far reaching implications for alleviating secondary complications associated with diabetes,” explained Dr. Krishnapura Srinivasan, who led the study, while talking to India Science Wire.

(India Science Wire)

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