Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Birch bark nutrient prevents obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol

Researchers from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBC) in China have identified a powerful compound in birch bark called betulin that helps lower cholesterol and prevent both diabetes and obesity. And betulin works particularly better than the statin drug lovastatin at lowering cholesterol, except without the harmful side effects.

Dr. Bao-Liang Song and his colleagues from SIBC tested the effects of betulin and found that it specifically targets the genes responsible for making harmful blood fats like triglycerides by effectively lowering their activity and protecting against disease. And since the compound is "abundant in birch bark," it has the potential to revolutionize the way blood fat levels are managed.

Concerning cholesterol levels, betulin was shown to lower lipid levels more effectively than lovastatin. And insulin-wise, betulin helps keep artery walls free and clear of build-ups and blockages, also known as atherosclerosis. Read more...

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