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Traditional Chinese Medicine Proven to Help Treat Type II Diabetes

Update Date: Mar 28, 2013 12:21 PM EDT

In one of the largest scientifically designed drug trials by a joint international group of researchers, the findings revealed the potential benefits of traditional Chinese Medicine in treating type II diabetes. The researchers evaluated the effects of Chinese herbal medicine, which is often used in countries where Western medicine is not very popular. The head study authors, Dr. Sanjoy Paul from the University of Queensland and Professor Lilong Ji from Beijing's Peking University, found that traditional Chinese medicine, when taken with Western medication, could significantly improve the treatment of type II diabetes.

The research team administered the drug, Glibenclamide with traditional Chinese medicine and found that people who took both forms of treatment were a third less likely in experiencing complications of type II diabetes in comparison to the participants who only took the drug, Glibenclamide. These patients taking both options did not suffer as much from hypoglycemia, which is the dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.

 "They were also less likely to experience other symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue, hunger and palpitation," Dr Paul, the director of the Queensland Clinical Trials and Biostatistics Center at the University Queensland's School of Population Health, said. "Traditional Chinese medicine has long been used to treat diabetes in China and around the world but until now there has been a lack of evidence regarding its safety and efficacy. This absence of scientific understanding has caused skepticism and criticism about traditional Chinese medicine."

Although the researchers could not find the mechanisms behind why traditional Chinese medicine might be effective against type II diabetes, they believe that their findings show that this type of medicine is not dangerous or life threatening. The patients from this study generally benefitted from the combination of the medications without any dangerous side effects.

The study was published in PLoS ONE

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