There are a lot of pros and cons that concern me pertaining to this study about liquorice and diabetes:
Did you know that Liquorice can have an effect on certain diabetes medications such as Metformin?
Use of Licorice for Diabetes:
Licorice is an ancient herb that has been used for thousands of years as an herbal medicine and as a sweet flavoring for foods. Licorice is most commonly used to treat coughs, colds, asthma, peptic ulcers, and is used topically for canker sores and eczema. Licorice contains glycyrrhiza, or glycyrrhizic acid, the substance responsible for many of its properties, but also the source of its side effects. A 2010 laboratory study published in "Lipids in Health and Disease" found glycyrrhizic acid reduced blood glucose levels by improving insulin sensitivity. The side effects of licorice containing glycyrrhizin include high blood, pressure, fatigue, headache and an increased risk of heart attack.
Licorice and Metformin Interaction:
Licorice containing glycyrrhizin may interact with metformin and other diabetes medications, including insulin, glipizide, rosiglitazone, troglitazone, pioglitazone and glyburide. The glucose-lowering effects of licorice combined with metformin can act to lower your blood sugar levels too much, resulting in a condition called hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, lightheadedness, tremors, irritability, headache, weakness, pale skin and sweating. Take licorice supplements with metformin only as directed by your doctor.
Other Effects of Licorice and Metformin:
Along with raising your blood glucose levels, diabetes also affects your heart and other organs. Over time, consistently high blood sugar levels can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. Using metformin and licorice containing glycyrrhizin can decrease your potassium levels and increase your retention of sodium, which can negatively impact your heart and raise your blood pressure. If you are diabetic and being treated for high blood with diuretics, licorice and metformin can increase their action, causing hypokalemia, or low potassium levels.
What is Liquorice?
What Is Licorice?
The licorice plant is a perennial herb and a member of the pea family. Native to southern Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean, it is extensively cultivated in Russia, Spain, Iran, and India. The plant is prized for its roots, which contain glycyrrhizic acid. This acid, which is extracted from the roots, is fifty times sweeter than sugar. Licorice extract is used as a flavoring in food, tobacco, alcohol, cosmetics, and, of course, in licorice candy
Also take note that there is more than one type of licorice plant and the medicinal properties of the plants vary frome one extreme to the other.
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