Rhodiola rosea root may help manage type 2 diabetes


A new study has shown that treatment with an extract from the roots of the Rhodiola rosea plant may be effective in managing type 2 diabetes.

The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was led by investigators at the University of California, Irvine and built on previous work showing that Rhodiola rosea had anti-inflammatory and gut microbiome-modulating properties, while expanding the lifespan of animal models. In this study, investigators found treatment with Rhodiola rosea improved fasting glucose levels, altered the response to exogenous insulin, and decreased circulating lipopolysaccharide and hepatic C‑reactive protein transcript levels.

Using a genetically engineered mouse model that developed obesity, insulin resistance, and high blood sugar, similar to advanced human type 2 diabetes, the team tested whether Rhodiola rosea could improve glucose homeostasis. In the study, age-matched male and female mice were randomly assigned to one of two groups: control, which received water, or experimental, which were administered Rhodiola rosea extract.

“Our findings suggest that Rhodiola rosea might be beneficial for treating type 2 diabetes, acting through changes in the microbiome that result in increased gut barrier integrity and decreased translocation of inflammatory molecules into the blood circulation,” said corresponding author Mahtab Jafari, PharmD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UCI in a statement. “Gut barrier integrity influences body weight and insulin response, and this botanical product may improve the responses of liver and muscle tissues to insulin produced by the pancreas.”

Next, the investigators will conduct a larger follow-up study in a different mouse model of obesity-induced diabetes to confirm these findings and to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved.