I recently came across a Facebook post, from a doctor on the social media website, allegedly stating that if you soak okra in water and drink it, it will presumably be able to make your diabetes “go away”.
Obviously claims like this are difficult to believe straight away, because anyone can write and claim anything on social media and gullible people may believe it; since diabetes affects almost at least one person in all our families and we all wish there was a cure for diabetes to help our loved ones from the dilemma called diabetes. Sadly diabetes cannot be cured, it’s a condition that you have to live with and combat it with regular exercise and controlling your diet and eating habits.
I then went on to research and look for any journals to see if there is any evidence for these claims, however the results I got back were very little. I found only three journals. I also found many other posts on websites including diabetes.co.uk; who do not falsify these claims but they also don’t claim that soaking okra in water and drinking it will cure diabetes in humans. The main focus is on the vegetable: okra or lady’s finger - whatever you like to call it.
Okra is a good vegetable which is known to be high in dietary fibre which can help control bowel movements and the insoluble fibre stored in okra is thought be able in helping the stability of blood glucose by slowing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract; as claimed by diabetes.co.uk.
Inside the journals, rats were made diabetic and were given mucilage extracted from the okra vegetable to drink. After a while their blood was extracted and showed significant decreases in blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
A journal posted in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, elaborated on this matter by defining how the chemical responsible for lowering blood glucose interacts with proteins in the body. They found that the active compound in okra has a strong binding affinity to MAFA and MMP9 proteins. They also state that this research opens a door to even more research in producing a novel ligand that is specific to aiding diabetes treatment.
These claims are so encouraging and it would be thought that the most sensible thing to do is to binge eat okra and drink okra water to stop your blood sugar levels rising. However okra is only a vegetable and one of the many vegetables we have to eat in order to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Diabetics need not to worry if they can control their blood sugar levels within the safe allocated range; but nothing can replace insulin and drinking okra soaked in water will not replace insulin injections.
In the end there still needs to be more research on this matter to prove the relationship between okra soaked in water and lowering blood sugar levels or even the claim that it can “cure” diabetes and replace insulin even. Not everything that is posted on Facebook by “doctors” can be true and has to be backed up with proof from scientific journals.
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