Monk Fruit, it’s good for Diabetes
Monk Fruit is also known as Luo Han Guo refers to the fruit of Siraitia Grosvenori, formerly called Momordica Grosvenori, a member of the Curcubitaceae. Monk fruit has been traditionally grown on steep forested mountains in small family orchards. According to legend, monk fruit is named after the Buddhist monks who first cultivated it nearly 800 years ago. Ever since then it has been treasured for its health-giving powers and its unique low-calorie sweetness. Monk fruit is primarily grown in southern China, mainly in Guangxi Province, with most of the product from the mountains of Guilin. The outer surface of the dried Monk fruit is round and smooth, dusty yellow-brown or dusty green-brown. It is covered with fine, soft hair. The fruit is covered by a hard but thin shell. Inside is a partly dry, flexible substance containing the juice, as well as a large number of seeds. The skin, juicy part, and seeds all have a good sweet flavor. Its nature is cool, and it has no poison.
The monk fruit act as a natural sweetener. Monk fruit extract is a high intense, zero-calorie sweetener, and can be used in blends with sucrose, fructose and erythitol. The sweetness of this fruit is due to the presence of a chemical mogrosidein. The pulp of this fruit contains around 1% mogroside making it the sweetest fruit on earth. Both the fresh and dried fruits are extracted to yield a powder that is 80% or more mogrosides. The mixed mogrosides are estimated to be about 300 times as sweet as sugar by weight, so that the 80% extracts are nearly 250 times sweeter than sugar; pure mogrosides may be 400 times sweeter than sugar by weight. It therefore, is good for Diabetic patients.
Guo-Ping Lin etal (2007) conducted a study on Effect of Siraitia Grosvenorii Polysaccharide (SGP) on Glucose and Lipid of Diabetic Rabbits. The SGP was isolated and purified and induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow to the diabetic rabbits to analyze the therapeutic effects of SGP. The study concluded that SGP not only reduces the lipid disorder, but also lowers plasma glucose levels. SGP have obvious glucose-lowering effect on hyperglycemic rabbits induced by feeding high fat/high sucrose chow.
Some of the other known beliefs are that monk fruit helps relieve sunstroke, moistens the lungs, eliminates phlegm, stops cough, and promotes bowel movements.
But I feel we need to do some more researches on medicinal properties of monk fruits. As in my knowledge, there is only 1 research study available in database that stated monk fruit have good effects on diabetes. If we conduct researches, keeping in mind, it’s sweetening properties, then I think we don’t need artificial sweeteners for diabetic patients, monk fruit will work perfectly.
- T. Tsurtematsu and A. Shigenobu, “Study on the constituents from fructs of momordicae grosvenori,” Pharmaceutical Journal, vol. 103, pp. 1151–1173, 1983.
- R. Kasai, R.-L. Nie, K. Nashi, et al., “Sweet cucurbitaneglucosides from fruits of Siraitia siamensis,” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, vol. 53, no. 12, pp. 3347–3349, 1989.
- L.-Q. Zhang, X.-Y. Qi, W.-J. Chen, and Y.-F. Song, “Effect of Mogroside extracts on blood glucose, blood lipid and antioxidation of hyperglycemic mice induced by Alloxan,” Chinese Pharmacological Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 237–240, 2006.
Articile compiled by Ms. Mahak Sharma
Assistant Professor, Food Science and Nutrition, Lady Irwin college, Delhi University
PhD. scholar, Food Science and Nutrition, Delhi University