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Old 05-30-2008, 07:12 AM   #1
William Yundt
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Question Miracle Fruit

Has anyone heard of the miracle fruit (synsepalum dulcificum)? Supposedly, eating this berry will rewire your tastebuds for about an hour, making everything taste sweet. From a health standpoint, wouldn't this be akin to using an artificial sweetner, producing the same negative hormonal response? Some of my coworkers are raving about the "awesomeness" of the miracle fruit, but they are sorely lacking when it comes to nutritional intellect. Please comment.

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Old 05-30-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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A quick search of the fruit's name and insulin on www.pubmed.gov yielded these two interesting studies, one being of stevioside:

Improvement of insulin resistance by miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) in fructose-rich chow-fed rats.

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In an attempt to probe a new target to improve insulin resistance, miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) was employed to investigate the effect on insulin resistance induced by fructose-rich chow in rats. Single oral administration of the powder of this miracle fruit decreased the plasma glucose in a dose-dependent manner for 150 min in rats fed fructose-rich chow for 4 weeks. Insulin action on the glucose disposal rate was measured using the glucose-insulin index, the value of the areas under the curve of glucose and insulin during the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. Oral administration of miracle fruit (0.2 mg/kg) to fructose-rich chow fed rats, three times daily for 3 days, reversed the raised value of the glucose-insulin index, indicating that miracle fruit has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity. The plasma glucose lowering action of tolbutamide, induced by secretion of endogenous insulin, is widely used to characterize the formation of insulin resistance. The time for the loss of the plasma glucose lowering response to tolbutamide (10.0 mg/kg, i.p.) in fructose-rich chow fed rats was markedly delayed after treatment with miracle fruit compared with the vehicle-treated group. Thus providing supportive data that oral administration of miracle fruit could delay the development of insulin resistance in rats. Also, the in vivo insulin sensitivity was markedly raised by miracle fruit. In conclusion, the results suggest that miracle fruit may be used as an adjuvant for treating diabetic patients with insulin resistance because this fruit has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity.
Increase of insulin sensitivity by stevioside in fructose-rich chow-fed rats.

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The intake of dietary fructose has undergone a marked increase around the world, especially the developed countries, in recent times. Stevioside, a glycoside contained in the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (Compositae), was used to screen the effect induced by a diet containing 60% fructose on insulin resistance in rats. Single oral administration of stevioside for 90 min decreased plasma glucose concentrations in a dose-dependent manner in rats receiving fructose-rich chow for four weeks. In addition, insulin action on glucose disposal rate was measured using the glucose-insulin index, the product of the areas under the curve of glucose, and insulin during the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. Oral administration of stevioside (5.0 mg/kg) in rats given four weeks of fructose-rich chow for 90 min reversed the value of glucose-insulin index, indicating that stevioside has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity in this insulin-resistant animal model. Time for the loss of plasma glucose lowering response to tolbutamide (10.0 mg/kg, i. p.) in fructose-rich chow fed rats was also markedly delayed by repeated stevioside treatment three times daily compared to the vehicle-treated group. The plasma glucose-lowering activity of tolbutamide was introduced to account for varying levels of endogenous insulin secretion, and is widely used as the indicator of insulin resistance development. Thus, it provided the supportive data that repeated oral administration of stevioside delayed the development of insulin resistance in rats on a high-fructose diet. Increased insulin sensitivity by stevioside administration was further identified using the plasma glucose-lowering action of exogenous insulin in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ-diabetic rats). Oral administration of stevioside at 0.2 mg/kg three times daily into STZ-diabetic rats for ten days increased the response to exogenous insulin. Taken together, this demonstrated that oral administration of stevioside improves insulin sensitivity, and seems suitable as an adjuvant for diabetic patients and/or those that consume large amounts of fructose.
It would appear that naturally-derived sweetening agents can have positive effects on health. Is it any wonder why they are not allowed to be used in foods in the U.S.?

Increased insulin sensitivity means healthier people who likely eat less food in general due to better blood sugar control. In a capitalistic economy that thrives on increasingly sicker people that eat more and more, it's a no-win situation for medical-food-industrial complex, hence they are relegated to the "fringe".
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
Mike ODonnell
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someone please change the title to this thread so I stop singing to myself...."The miracle fruit....the more you eat....the more you toot"....
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
Steve Liberati
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Thanks for the post Garrett.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:19 PM   #5
William Yundt
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Thanks for the reply Dr. Smith. That was exactly the kind of insight I was looking for. It completely slipped my mind to check out pubmed before posting.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:44 PM   #6
Garrett Smith
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My pleasure. I learn something new every day from doing things like this.

Considering a lot of us do the low carb thing and don't eat much sugar, that miracle fruit might actually be quite fun!
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