Diabetes Help from the Baby Jackfruit

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Health


The figures for diabetes in the UK are worrying, and increasing. There are currently 2.3 million people diagnosed with diabetes and more than 500,000 believed to have the condition but aren’t aware of it. Within 15 year, at the current rate of increase, it is thought that there will be an additional 1.3 million people with the condition which is the equivalent of a 46% increase.

Like many conditions, diabetes can be helped by a dressing diet and lifestyle. One new element on the horizon is the Baby Jackfruit – an unusual and interesting red skinned fruit from Asia which has been seen to have potential health benefits for diabetes sufferers.

Baby Jackfruit, is known as the ‘fruit from heaven’, and is used for food and medicinal purposes across Southeast Asia. It is hardly ever seen in Europe because it fruits only once a year and so is found mainly in local markets at the right time of year.

Recent studies have shown that Baby Jackfruit has been found to be very high in a molecule called beta-carotene, which is a vegetable form of Vitamin A and it is thought that many diabetics suffer from a lack of this nutrient due to poor diets. There are a number of studies that indicate vitamin A may be beneficial for those suffering with diabetes and a clinical trial on 52 healthy volunteers showed that there is a distinct relationship between the amount of Vitamin A you have in your body and the speed at which the body can dispose of glucose. This could potentially be valuable for type 2 diabetes sufferers as it is the inability to break down glucose, and hence its high levels in the blood, that can cause health problems.

Jackfruit contains by far the highest content of beta-carotene of any known fruit or vegetable, 10 times higher than carrots for example and research has confirmed that the beta-carotene (Vitamin A) it contains is highly bioavailable to humans. In a double-blind study, based on 185 subjects, people were either given 3.5mg of beta-carotene from Baby Jackfruit, or an identical looking preparation of 5mgof beta-carotene powder. After 30 days, the former group, eating natural beta-carotene from the Baby Jackfruit, had significantly greater plasma (blood) levels of beta-carotene than the latter, who used synthetic beta-carotene.

Another benefit of eating vegetables rich in carotenoids, such as beta-carotene found in Baby Jackfruit, is that they are thought to help protect against raised blood glucose levels and may well be a preventative factor in hyperglycemia. This benefit of the metabolism of glucose from eating carotenoids from fruit and vegetables has also been shown in men at high risk of type 2 diabetes, and so may well help in the disease developing in the first place.

You may well struggle to find it in your local supermarket, though if you have a good Asian market you may be lucky enough to find it there. If you are interested in trying it, then a supplement is probably going to be your best bet. If your local health store can’t help you, then the first one available in the UK can be obtained at www.drinkherbaltea.co.uk as capsules that contain baby jackfruit oil that is naturally extracted.