Hypoglycemic Effect of an Opuntia streptacanta Lemaire Dialysate


Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is the most frequent metabolic disorder
among the Mexican population (Zarate, 1991). It is considered a public-health problem by the
medical community in Mexico (Escobedo de la Peña, 1993).
Because good glycemic control (less than 140 mg/dl) is so difficult to achieve by many NIDDM
patients treated with oral hypoglycemic drugs, nonpharmacological alternatives, such as
traditional plants, have proven to aid in control (Bailey and Day, 1989; Roman-Ramos et al., 1991).
Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire is one of those plants (Frati-Munari et al., 1988).
Several reports confirm an important Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire hypoglycemic effect up to
three hours after its ingestion in different preparations. Moreover, there is a direct correlation
between Opuntia doses and its hypoglycemic effect (Frati-Munari et al., 1989). However, doses
larger than 300 mg represent a limitation because it is very difficult for NIDDM patients to eat the
Opuntia for long periods of time.
To avoid this limitation, we studied the effect of an Opuntia streptacantha Lemaire dialysate on
NIDDM patients.





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