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Tree bark “may help treat diabetes”


A breakthrough in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes may be growing in the shadow of Mount Everest.

Researchers in Northern Ireland have found that the bark of the Himalayan tree shrub Swertia chirayita may stimulate insulin production and improve its action. A team from the Biomedical Science Research Institute at the University of Ulster campus in Coleraine has reported its findings to Diabetes UK’s annual conference in Glasgow.

Senior lecturer Dr Yasser Abdel-Wahab said: “Natural anti-diabetic drug discovery is a key area of research that is attracting a lot of interest.

“More research is needed to establish definitively how and if our findings could be translated into new therapeutic agents for treatments for people with Type 2 diabetes, but we are hopeful that this will one day be the case.”

Other possible treatments being studied by teams of UK scientists include the root of a cucumber-like vegetable and a herb found in the forests of India.

Copyright Press Association 2009

Swertia chirayita

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