Diabetes is a condition characterised by unruly blood sugar levels, that set the stage for a host of complications if left untreated. Another key pathology in the condition is failure to respond to insulin, a hormone that facilitates the absorption of blood sugar. There is increasing evidence, however, that certain foods can help lower glucose. One drink has proven effective at taming post-meal sugar spikes within 45 minutes of intake.
Lemon juice, which is packed with polyphenols, is often mixed with water to help flush toxins out of the body.
The drink has been used as an antidote for years, thanks to its antibacterial compounds that carry a host of benefits for the body.
According to one Japanese study, lemon juice may also help lower untimely blood sugar spikes.
While the drink may not directly lower blood sugar levels, it may prevent levels from spiking after a meal.
Researchers probed the effects of lemon juice on blood sugar to assess whether it may reduce glycative stress – a precursor for premature ageing and diabetes.
The team found that intake of 100% lemon juice, with no additives may help stave off disease progressions.
The researchers hypothesised the effects may be down to the citric acid content of lemon juice.
To put these effects to the test, they recruited 12 subjects, all aged between 20 to 30 years, who were divided into three different groups.
The first control group simply ate 200 grams of cooked rice, while a second group was given 15 grams of lemon juice, followed by 200 grams of cooked rice.
The third group of participants were given 30 grams of lemon juice followed by 200 grams of cooked rice.
Lemon juice was mixed with water, and all subjects were instructed to eat food within 10 minutes of drinking their beverage.
All participants had their blood sugar levels measured at zero, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after consumption.
Findings revealed that the group who drank the highest amounts of lemon juice had significantly lower blood glucose levels at 45 minutes, compared to the group who drank none.
Researchers also noted that participants who drank lower amounts of lemon juice has lower blood glucose than those who drank none.
The difference, however, was not significant.
Why is high blood sugar dangerous?
According to the NHS, high blood sugar can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes.