By Michael A. Smith, MD
Diabetic neuropathy results from two destructive processes caused by high blood sugar: oxidative stress and glycation. Here at Life Extension® we are always looking for innovative ways to help fight against the damaging effects of high blood sugar.
The latest discovery is found in almost every grocery store in the nation … red cabbage. Researchers at the United Arab Emirates University1 studied red cabbage extract’s protective action against oxidative stress. Their results are quite amazing.
Diabetes was induced in male rats using a common laboratory technique (infusion of the chemical streptozotocin). Within 60 days, all of the rats infused with streptozotocin exhibited many symptoms of diabetes including loss of body weight, high blood sugar, kidney problems and nerve cell dysfunction.
Malondialdehyde is formed from lipid peroxidation and is a marker of oxidative stress. The blood levels of malondialdehyde dramatically increased in all of the rats. Daily oral ingestion (1 g/kg body weight) of red cabbage extract for an additional 60 days reduced the levels of this oxidative chemical and even reversed some of the adverse effects noted above, especially the damage to nerve cells1.
Additionally, red cabbage extract lowered blood glucose levels and restored renal function and body weight loss. In conclusion, the antioxidant properties of red cabbage extract may help all diabetics with nerve disorders, and help them to finally achieve optimal blood sugar levels. Here is a great recipe using red cabbage…
Apples & Red Cabbage Slaw
Serves 6; Serving size: 1/2 cup Prep time: 15 minutes
4 cups shredded red cabbage
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1. Prepare a medium saucepan with nonstick pan spray.
2. Place cabbage, apples, 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, and brown sugar in the prepared saucepan; mix well.
3. Cover and simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes, until cabbage is crisp-tender.
4. Turn the cabbage several times during cooking and add a bit more water if it starts to stick.
5. Add the salt and nutmeg; mix well.
6. Serve warm.
Total Calories: 62
Calories from Fat: 3
Total Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 202 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 16 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 13 g
Protein: 1 g
1. Red Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) Ameliorates Diabetic Nephropathy in Rats
Hazem A. H. Kataya and AlaaEldin A. Hamza. Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, UAE University, Al-Ain, PO Box: 17555, UAE