Sugar palm (Borassus flabellifer) cultivated and its pulp, as well as immature endosperm, is consumed popularly consumed throughout Bangladesh. Objective: The aim of this study was to elucidate the anti-diabetic effect of immature endosperm on type-2 diabetic patients. Methods: First rat model was used, then effectiveness was tested on type-2 diabetic patients. Randomly selected T2DM patients (n=30) were orally fed immature endosperm of sugar palm (IESP) twice a day beside the regular dietary intake. Results: The current study showed IESP is rich in carbohydrate, fiber, sodium, potassium, and zinc. Nineteen phytochemicals, with known anti-diabetic effects, were found to be present in the IESP. Study results clearly showed that IESP significantly reduced fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels of experimental rats. The FBG levels returned within normal range by the end of the sixth week and also maintained the normal FBG levels even after withdrawn of the feeding of IESP. The human trial also showed that the mean fasting blood glucose (FBG) level was markedly reduced from 15.74 mmol/L to 10.53 mmol/L, over four weeks feeding period, among patients who had normal body mass index (18.5-24.9). Only 16.67% of diabetic patients had irregular FBG levels, whereas 10% didn’t show a significant reduction, and 6.67% was unsuccessful because of their irregular intake of insulin. The IESP was more effective on female (p≤0.001) patients than males (p≤0.05). Conclusion: The IESP could be considered anti-hyperglycemic fruit, and this might be due to its nutrient contents, especially phytochemicals, fiber, sodium, potassium, copper, and zinc.
Dr. Shaikh Shahinur Rahman is working presently as Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Technology of Islamic University, Bangladesh. He is a specialist in nutrition and health. He has a master’s and a doctorate in Nutrition and Food Technology from the Faculty of Biological Science of Islamic University, Bangladesh. His main research interest focuses on functional foods and preparation of novel diet for diabetes. He has published more than 28 papers in reputed journals. He has also participated in numerous research projects as a participant, co-director and director. He is an advisor of the Applied Nutrition and Food Technology (ANFT) Society. He is also a member of the Bangladesh Food and Nutrition Association (BAFNA).