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Scientists Identify Natural Compound That Could Prevent A Range Of Metabolic Conditions

January 14, 2011 by  

Scientists identify natural compound that could prevent a range of metabolic conditionsDiabetes and high cholesterol have reached epidemic proportions in America, and in their quest to find natural remedies to these conditions scientists have recently singled out birch bark as a potential candidate. 

A study published in the January issue of Cell Metabolism suggests that a compound called betulin, found in birch bark, lowered cholesterol levels, helped prevent obesity and improved insulin sensitivity in experiments conducted in animal models.

Moreover, mice treated with the extract showed better resistance to atherosclerotic plaques in their arteries. Such plaques are responsible for cardiovascular diseases, which can lead to a heart attack.

The scientists, led by Bao-Liang Song of the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, explain that betulin targets proteins that are important for activating the genes responsible for the production of cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides.

The team adds that the compound is readily available and appears to have low toxicity. In fact, it has been hailed as a possible precursor to a new generation of safer and effective treatments for a range of metabolic conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 20 percent and 33 percent of American adults could develop diabetes in the next four decades. 

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  • coal miner · Cached page

  • coal miner

    Birch bark,

    Hyperlipidemia, a condition whereby blood lipids – particularly cholesterol — are elevated, is closely linked to metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis and type II diabetes. The body’s production of blood lipids is regulated by a family of transcription factors known as sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs). Bao-Liang Song, from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (China), and colleagues employed a chemical screening process to identify compounds with potential to directly blocking the action of SREBP. The team observed betulin, a compound found in abundance in birch bark, reduced the activity of genes that are normally activated by SREBP, and lowered lipid levels within cells. They then treated mice, fed a high-fat Western diet, with either betulin, a cholesterol-lowering statin, or placebo, for a six-week period. Compared to placebo, both betulin and the statin reduced weight on the high-fat diet. Betulin, however, also lowered lipid levels in blood, liver, and fat tissue. As well, betulin made the animals more sensitive to insulin, and reduced the number of atherosclerotic plaques formed. Explaining that: “Our study demonstrates that inhibition SREBP pathway can be employed as a therapeutic strategy to treat metabolic diseases including type II diabetes and atherosclerosis,” the researchers conclude that: “ Betulin, which is abundant in birch bark, could be a leading compound for development of drugs for hyperlipidemia.”

  • coal miner

    Also, · Cached page

  • s c

    Chalk up yet another health topic that didn’t garner much attention. What needs to be said about this topic is the fact that scientists are looking for ways to help with this problem area. “MDs” are another matter. That is, “MDs” are NOT putting any effort into helping with this issue.
    Aside from the fact that scientists and MDs shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that America has many MDs who look at health issues as the money-making part of job security. In America, you can be a scientist or an MD. Rarely are the two the same.
    Scientists, on the other hand, are more concerned with solving problems. American healthcare will continue to suffer as long as we have to rely on “MDs” for solutions to health problems, especially when many American MDs funnel money to the AMA, FDA and Big Pharma.

  • Braulio

    The following comment reveals one of the biggest problems with our healthcare system: “the researchers conclude that: “ Betulin, which is abundant in birch bark, could be a leading compound for development of drugs for hyperlipidemia.””
    Why develop a drug when we can simply use birch bark?….because they cannot patent birch bark. Every time a synthetic is created, all of the minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients contained in the natural God made substance are eliminated. When we consume synthetic compounds the body will need certain nutrients to process it and since there are no nutrients in the synthetic compound, the body has to rob nutrients from our body to process the synthetic compound. The same goes for refined foods such as white rice, white flour, refined salt, refined sugar, and purified water. Since our diets are full of empty refined foods, pharmaceuticals only add the problem of a demineralized body. Minerals serve as catalysts for so many processes in our body that it is no wonder why so many people are sick.
    Add toxicity to a demineralized body and it complicates our well-being even more. All drugs have a LD50 Lethal dose 50 percentile. Pharmacologists know the required dose to kill 50% of the population that consume the drug. They start with rats, increasing the dosage until 50% of 1000 rats die. Then they use humans in similar trials. It is illegal in our country to produce non-toxic cures. The law is designed to give big pharma control of what can be legally sold as a cure and to eliminate natural alternatives. Once a company produces a product that has a structure/function effect upon the body, thereby producing what appears to be a cure and links there product to the disease condition as a cure then it becomes an illegal drug and will be removed from the market. Since it is non-toxic it will never pass the first stage of drug approval to determine toxicity. As a result not only has the product been removed from the market by a corrupt FDA that is in contempt of court on 7 counts, but the non-toxic very effective natural substance with proper scientific double-blind studies will never be sold on the market. It would cost less and kill the pharmaceutical companies market. Legal and illegal drugs serve as a huge income stream for the elitists that control petroleum and all of its derivatives (including plastics, synthetic vitamins, synthetic drugs, pesticides and other chemicals)


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