Nuisance or nutrient? Kudzu shows promise as a dietary supplement
August 26, 2009 -- Kudzu, the nuisance vine that has overgrown almost 10 million acres in the southeastern United States, may sprout into a dietary supplement. Scientists in Alabama and Iowa are reporting the first evidence that root extracts from kudzu show promise as a dietary supplement for a high-risk condition — metabolic syndrome — that affects almost 50 million people in the United States alone. Their study appears in the current issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.
The study found that a kudzu root extract had beneficial effects in lab rats used as a model for research on metabolic syndrome. After two months of taking the extract, the rats had lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin levels than a control group not given the extract. Kudzu root “may provide a dietary supplement that significantly decreases the risk and severity of stroke and cardiovascular disease in at-risk individuals,” the article notes.
--News release courtesy of American Chemical Society
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