The World Health Organization (WHO) categorizes diabetes as a top preventable killer worldwide – Type 2 diabetes, arising commonly from excess body weight and inactivity, comprises 90% of diagnosed diabetics. In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from blood sugar related consequences, and WHO predicts that death from diabetes will double by 2030. Eighty percent of these deaths will occur in low-to-middle income countries.
These are sobering statistics. However, there is a silver lining illuminating these dark clouds. Type 2 diabetes is both manageable, and highly preventable. Guava leaves can, and do, play an important role in diabetes management and prevention. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has published a list of “Foods For Specific Health Uses,” or FOSHU. This list includes a commercial (pre-packaged) form of guava leaf tea, called Bansoureicha, made by Yakult Honsha.
In 2010 Yakult Honsha published a clinical study utilizing guava leaf tea in Nutrition & Metabolism, “Anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects of guava leaf extract.” In the study, they reviewed “evidence regarding the anti-hyperglycemic activities and safety of GvEx (guava leaf extract) and Guava Leaf Tea in vitro [petri dish], as well as in animal models and several clinical trials.” They also described “the efficacy and safety of Guava Leaf Tea in pre-diabetic and diabetic patients with T2DM (Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus).”[i]
In a clinical trial involving twenty hospitalized patients with T2DM, guava leaf tea was given to patients 2 hours after mealtime, after postprandial glucose levels had been allowed to elevate. The elevated level was “significantly reduced with a single administration of guava leaf tea.”
In a continuation of the clinical study, they tested guava leaf tea’s effectiveness over a twelve-week period. They found that “insulin resistance significantly decreased in all subjects. Moreover…serum levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides significantly decreased in the subjects with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) and hypertriglycemia (high triglyceride levels).”
What does this all mean? Guava leaf use should be more widespread as a tool to help combat a worldwide leading cause of malady, both in developed and undeveloped countries. As the article states, “the consecutive ingestion of guava leaf tea [or guava leaf extract] with every meal is expected to benefit pre-diabetic and diabetic patients as an aliment therapy in both developed and undeveloped countries.” Yakault Honsha’s motives are for people to buy and drink their product every day, but any form of guava leaf will have the same wonderful benefits.
Look for more reviews on scientific articles about guava leaf to come!
Deguchi et. Al. “Anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects of guava leaf extract,” Nutrition and Metabolism, 2010, 7:9.