Modulation of glucose metabolism and cerebral energy homeostasis by means of apple-curly kale extracts

Principal Investigator:Prof. Dr. Kerstin M. Oltmanns
Project staff:Dipl.-Phys. Jan Christian Martens
Dr. rer. nat. Uwe H. Melchert

Approx. 20-25 Million people in Germany suffer from the metabolic syndrome, i.e., a cluster of overweight, arterial hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, and dyslipidemia. Overweight or obesity, in turn, may trigger the development of diabetes mellitus type 2. The number of new diabetes type 2 cases increases with age. In the 60+ age group the proportion of diseases is about 18-28%. In parallel, the age of affected patients is constantly declining. Diets with a high content of rapidly digestible carbohydrates play a crucial role in the development of obesity. Recent studies have shown that specifically some types of food and beverages, from which the body can rapidly take up glucose are critically valued because this leads to temporary blood glucose peaks, which, in turn, cause a lasting disturbance of the glucose homeostasis.

Glucose is absorbed into intestinal cells by the protein SGLT-1 on their surface. An efficient inhibition of SGLT-1 could thus successfully avoid a blood glucose overshoot. The reduction of glucose availability by inhibition of its intestinal intake is a central strategic approach. Although urgently required, there is neither pharmacological nor naturopathic treatment so far to influence glucose transport in the intestines. It has been shown that certain dietary ingredients such as phlorizin from apples or curly kale actually inhibit the SGLT-1 protein.

Against this background, this project pursues the following goals:

  1. Application of an apple-curly kale extract to improve systemic glucose metabolism Basic scientific decoding of the underlying mechanisms of these effects
  2. Testing potential effects on other aspects of the metabolic syndrome