Clinical trial shows “remarkable” results treating diabetes with neem
Treating diabetes with neem has been a hot topic practically since we started growing it in 1992. Frankly, that terrifies us. Anecdotally it works so well that some people end up with dangerously low blood sugar levels. No matter what “Dr. Google” says, do not take neem unless you are testing your blood sugar at least once a day. (Learn more here.)
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Neem has been used to treat diabetes in India for centuries but, until recently, no clinical studies looked at whether it works in human beings or what is an appropriate dose. That changed with a report published in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.
Researchers used the “gold standard” of clinical research in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. They divided 80 patients who already were on a standard therapy of metformin into four groups, including a control group and groups which received 125, 250 or 500 milligrams of neem twice a day. All were asked to continue their normal diet and exercise regimes during the 12-week study period.
Results across the study showed that patients in the group taking 500 milligrams of neem twice daily saw:
- Post-prandial blood glucose dropped by a “remarkable” 22.6%
- Fasting blood sugar levels also decreased by 19%
- Insulin resistance dropped by 54%
- Glycosylated hemoglobin dropped by 19.6%.
Researchers also looked at other outcomes indirectly related to diabetes:
- Endothelial functions that control heartbeat, as well as blood clotting and immune systems, were significantly improved
- Levels of malondialdehyde, a highly reactive free radical, significantly dropped
- Levels of glutathione, considered to be the “master antioxidant,” increased by 12%
- IL-6 and hsCRP, which measure general inflammation, dropped by 8.7% and 23%, respectively.
While diabetic patients taking neem at all doses saw improvements, the most significant were seen with the 1,000-milligram a day dosage. Improvements also increased significantly over the four-, eight- and 12-week period when the study ended. (Full details are reported in the published article at Evaluation of the Effect of an Aqueous Extract of Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leaves and Twigs on Glycemic Control, Endothelial Dysfunction and Systemic Inflammation in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study (nih.gov)
The capsules used in this study were manufactured by New Jersey-based Natreon, Inc. and contained 125 or 250 milligrams of an aqueous extract of neem leaf and twigs, but they aren’t being sold in the U.S. The capsules can be compared to our Six-Way Neem Capsules, which contain 350 milligrams of the aqueous extract along with eight milligrams of supercritical extract and 80 milligrams of raw neem. It would be difficult to compare other neem capsules because no other supplement sold in the U.S. includes the twigs and most contain raw neem leaf rather than a more bio-available aqueous extract.