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Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Disease Treatable with Purple Corn Compound?

Update Date: Sep 19, 2012 04:26 PM EDT

Purple corn natively grown in Peru, but readily available in the U.S., has been found to contain anthocyanins (PCA) or flavonoids that researchers say have anti-diabetic properties.

According to experts at the Department of Biochemistry at Hallym University in Korea, the cellular and molecular activity of purple corn inhibits the spread of diabetic nephropathy, which often leads to end-stage kidney disease.

Previous studies have shown that this Peruvian super food, rich in polyphenolic compounds, can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Recent research in both animals and humans have shown that increasing polyphenol intake can protect against atherosclerosis, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clots and elevate antioxidant capacity of the blood. 

Sperate studies have also shown that ingesting purple corn compounds daily while maintaining a high fat diet can sustain weight. 

Researchers Min-Kyung Kang and colleagues performed a two-part study consisting of an in vitro experiment investigating the effects of PCA on human endothelial cells cultured under hyperglycemic kidney conditions and an in vivo study that investigated the effects of PCA on kidney tissue in diabetic mice.

Results showed that human cells cultured in hyperglycemic kidney conditions and subsequently exposed to PCA, had interrupted cellular pathways whcih, left unattended, would have otherwise lead to the spread of infected cells.

Therefore, researchers wrote ""PCA may be a potential renoprotective agent treating diabetes-associated glomerulosclerosis," wrote the researchers. In other words, researchers suggest that PCAs may be a critical compound in developing medication that could prevent kidney disease and failure related to type 2 diabetes.

For now, us laymen would simply suggest eat for patients diagnosed to eat more purple corn. 

The study is called "Purple corn anthocyanins inhibit diabetes-associated glomerular monocyte activation and macrophage infiltration"  and is published in the American Journal of Physiology.

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