Cashew seed extract has anti-diabetic properties, a new study has found.
The study was conducted by researchers at University of Montreal (Canada) and the Université de Yaounde (Cameroun).
Diabetes is caused when a person has high blood sugar because their body does not respond well to insulin and/or does not produce enough of the hormone.
"Of all the extracts tested, only cashew seed extract significantly stimulated blood sugar absorption by muscle cells," says senior author Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the University of Montreal's Faculty of Medicine.
Cashew tree products have long been alleged to be effective anti-inflammatory agents, counter high blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance among diabetics.
"Our study validates the traditional use of cashew tree products in diabetes and points to some of its natural components that can serve to create new oral therapies," adds Dr. Haddad, who is also director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team in Aboriginal Anti-Diabetic Medicines at the University of Montreal.
The study has been published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research journal.