Morus alba

Kaushik, G., S. Satya, R. K. Khandelwal and S.N. Naik. 2010. Commonly consumed Indian plant food materials in the management of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews 4: 21–40.

A B S T R A C T : Diabetes mellitus is a common disease affecting several million individuals worldwide. Over the last century changes in human behavior and lifestyle have resulted in a dramatic increase in the incidence of diabetes world over. Though oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin is the mainstay of treatment of diabetes, they have prominent side effects and fail to significantly alter the course of diabetic complications. Lifestyle modifications including appropriate diet and exercise programs have been found to be greatly effective in the management of the disease. Diet therapy especially is showing a bright future in the therapy of diabetes mellitus. In this regard this paper reviews 27 common Indian plant food materials that have been reported to possess anti-diabetic properties. The food materials reviewed in relation to diabetes and its complications are: Cajanus cajan, Cicer arietinum, Phaseolus mungo, Phaseolus vulgaris, Aegle marmelose, Mangifera indica, Morus alba, Musa sapientum, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum, Syzigium cumini, Vitis vinifera, Allium cepa, Annona squamosa, Beta vulgaris, Cucurbita pepo, Ipomoea batatus, Momordica charantia, Allium sativum, Brassica juncea, Cuminum cyminum, Curcuma, Murraya koeingii and Trigonella foenum graecum. In addition to these food materials black tea, green tea and red wine have also been reviewed. All these plant food materials have been reported to have varying degree of hypoglycemic and anti-hyperglycemic activity. It is concluded that the various plant foods which which form an important part of our diet not only possess blood glucose lowering properties but are also beneficial in decreasing the risk factors for cardiovascular and renal diseases through various mechanisms including free radicals.


Nakamura, M., S. Nakamura and T. Oku. 2010. Suppressive response of confections containing the extractive from leaves of Morus Alba on postprandial blood glucose and insulin in healthy human subjects. Nutrition & Metabolism 6: 29


Background: The first aim of this study was to clarify the effective ratio of extractive from leaves of Morus Alba (ELM) to sucrose so as to apply this knowledge to the preparation of confections that could effectively suppress the elevation of postprandial blood glucose and insulin. The second aim was to identify the efficacy of confections prepared with the optimally effective ratio determined from the first study, using healthy human subjects.

Methods: Ten healthy females (22.3 years, BMI 21.4 kg/m2) participated in this within-subject, repeated measures study. For the first aim of this study, the test solutions containing 30 g of sucrose and 1.2 or 3.0 g of ELM were repeatedly and randomly given to each subject. To identify the practically suppressive effects on postprandial blood glucose and insulin, some confections with added ELM were prepared as follows: Mizu-yokan, 30 g of sucrose with the addition of 1.5 or 3.0 g ELM; Daifuku-mochi, 9.0 g of starch in addition to 30 g of sucrose and 1.5 or 3.0 g ELM; Chiffoncake, 24 g of sucrose, starch, and 3.0 or 6.0 g of ELM, and were ingested by each subject. Blood and end-expiration were collected at selected periods after test food ingestion.

Results: When 30 g of sucrose with 1.2 or 3.0 g of ELM were ingested by subjects, the elevations of postprandial blood glucose and insulin were effectively suppressed (p < 0.01), and the most effective ratio of ELM to sucrose was evaluated to be 1:10. AUC (area under the curve) of breath hydrogen excretion for 6 h after the ingestion of an added 3 g of ELM significantly increased (p < 0.01). When AUCs-3h of incremental blood glucose of confections without ELM was 100, that of Mizu-yokan and Daifuku-mochi with the ratio (1:10) of ELM to sucrose was decreased to 53.4 and 58.2, respectively. Chiffon-cake added one-fourth ELM was 29.0.

Conclusion: ELM-containing confections for which the ratio of ELM and sucrose is one-tenth effectively suppress the postprandial blood glucose and insulin by inhibiting the intestinal sucrase, thus creating a prebiotic effect. The development of confections with ELM can therefore contribute to the prevention and the quality of life for prediabetic and diabetic patients.


KIMURA, T. et al. 2007. Food-Grade Mulberry Powder Enriched with 1-Deoxynojirimycin Suppresses the Elevation of Postprandial Blood Glucose in Humans. J. Agric. Food Chem. 55: 5869-5874.

Abstract: Mulberry 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), a potent glucosidase inhibitor, has been hypothesized to be beneficial for the suppression of abnormally high blood glucose levels and thereby prevention of diabetes mellitus. However, DNJ contents in commercial mulberry products were as low as about 0.1% (100 mg/100 g of dry product), implying that the bioavailability of DNJ might not be expected. We carried out studies in two directions: (1) production of food-grade mulberry powder containing a maximally high DNJ content; (2) determination of the optimal dose of the DNJ-enriched powder for the suppression of the postprandial blood glucose through clinical trials. The following method was used: (1) DNJ concentrations in mulberry leaves from different cultivars, harvest seasons, and leaf locations were determined using hydrophilic interaction chromatography with evaporative light scattering detection. (2) Healthy volunteers received 0, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 g of DNJ-enriched powder (corresponding to 0, 6, 12, and 18 mg of DNJ, respectively), followed by 50 g of sucrose. Before and 30-180 min after the DNJ/sucrose administration, plasma glucose and insulin were determined. The following results were obtained: (1) Young mulberry leaves taken from the top part of the branches in summer contained the highest amount of DNJ. After optimization of the harvesting and drying processes for young mulberry leaves (Morus alba L. var. Shin ichinose), DNJ-enriched powder (1.5%) was produced. (2) A human study indicated that the single oral administration of 0.8 and 1.2 g of DNJ-enriched powder significantly suppressed the elevation of postprandial blood glucose and secretion of insulin, revealing the physiological impact of mulberry DNJ (effective dose and efficacy in humans). This study suggests that the newly developed DNJ-enriched powder can be used as a dietary supplement for preventing diabetes mellitus.


Zhong, L. T., J. K. Furne and M. D. Levitt. 2006. An extract of black, green, and mulberry teas causes malabsorption of carbohydrate but not of triacylglycerol in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 84: 551–555.


Background: In vitro studies suggest that extracts of black, green, and mulberry teas could interfere with carbohydrate and triacylglycerol absorption via their ability to inhibit a-amylase,  a-glucosidase, sodium-glucose transporters, and pancreatic lipase.

Objective: We measured breath hydrogen and 13CO2 to investigate the ability of an extract of black, green, and mulberry tea leaves to induce malabsorption of carbohydrate and triacylglycerol in healthy volunteers.

Design: In a crossover design, healthy adult volunteers randomly ingested test meals with a placebo beverage or a preparation containing an extract of black (0.1 g), green (0.1 g), and mulberry (1.0 g) teas. One test meal contained 50 g carbohydrate as white rice, 10 g butter, and 0.2 g [13C]triolein, and the beverages contained 10 g sucrose. The calorie content of the second test meal consisted entirely of lipid (30 g olive oil and 0.2 g [13C]triolein). Breath hydrogen and 13CO2 concentrations were assessed hourly for 8 h, and symptoms were rated on a linear scale.

Results: With the carbohydrate-containing meal, the tea extract resulted in a highly significant increase in breath-hydrogen concentrations, which indicated appreciable carbohydrate malabsorption. A comparison of hydrogen excretion after the carbohydrate containing meal with that after the nonabsorbable disaccharide lactulose suggested that the tea extract induced malabsorption of 25% of the carbohydrate. The tea extract did not cause triacylglycerol malabsorption or any significant increase in symptoms.

Conclusion: This study provides the basis for additional experiments to determine whether the tea extract has clinical utility for the treatment of obesity or diabetes.