Hintonia Latiflora (family Rubiaceae) is a bark of a Central American plant. In Mexico, Hintonia Latiflora is commonly known as “copalchis” and is extensively applied by patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The blood glucose-lowering effects of Hintonia Latiflora have recently gained the scientific community’s attention and applied in several research settings.
In recent studies, the isolation of several cucurbitacins and 4-phenylcoumarins were identified. The antimicrobial properties of these compounds are extensively studied, as well. Nevertheless, the antidiabetic effect of H. Latiflora has been reported since 1989 in Mexico, followed by studies made in Germany, France, and Italy.
In 2000, oral administration of H. latiflora in STZ-diabetic mice resulted in decreased levels of blood glucose. However, the natural active compounds were not identified in this study. Furthermore, new research has shown that the functional compound of Mexican “copalchis” were 4-phenylcoumarin glycosides and cucurbitacins, and compounds 2 and 6.
H. Latiflora application:
|Improves plasma insulin levels.|
|Modules hepatic glycogen.|
The chemical composition of H. Latiflora had to be identified by chromatographic fractionation. This study identified 8 compounds:
|1) 25-O-acetyl-3-O-b-D-gluco- pyranosyl-23,24-dihydrocucurbitacin F|
|2) 3-O-b-D-glucopyr- anosyl-23,24-dihydrocucurbitacin F|
|4) 5- O-b-D-galactopyranosyl-7-methoxy-3’ ,4’ -dihydroxy-4-phenylcoumarin|
|6) 5-O-[b-D-apiofuranosyl- (1 -6)-b-D-glucopyranosyl]-7-methoxy-3’,4’-dihydroxy-4- phenylcoumarin|
|7) 5-O-[b-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-6)-b-D- glucopyranosyl]-7-methoxy-3’ ,4’ -dihydroxy-4-phenylcoumarin|
|8) alkaloid desoxycordifolinic acid|
Conducted research with H. Latiflora, an STZ- induced diabetic mice, has been done using similar extracts like E. caribaeum. Furthermore, the objective of intervening STZ- induced diabetic mice with this extract mixture was to observe the long-term antidiabetic effects. Furthermore, the daily oral administration results of 50mg/kg of H. latiflora, 2-6 and 8 (15mg/kg) twice a day for 30 days. This intervention resulted in an improvement in glucose levels.
Another long-term study lasting 33 months resulted in the maintenance or lowering of HbA1c to 7%. Indeed, these results showed after six months of consumption.
However, new studies have applied H. Latiflora as a capsule with dry extract. They choose to combine this extract with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, chromium, and vitamin b compound. Consequently, the results of these studies confirmed positive effects on the regulation of blood glucose balance.
It is important to mention that H. Latiflora supplementation has reported excellent tolerance. Besides, to lowering blood glucose, liver function and lipid were positively affected. By reading and reporting these studies, they all conclude that the supplementation of H. latiflora, combined with other extracts or vitamins and trace minerals, has a positive effect on blood glucose.
Despite confirming the antidiabetic effects of H. Latiflora, some studies were conducted to reduce the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetic oral medication reported in large studies like ACCORD and ADVANCE. Both large studies report increased long term mortality associated with tight blood glucose control and aggressive lowering of HbA1c, caused by medication. Nevertheless, H. Latiflora has only shown positive effects in patients with mild and moderate type 2 diabetes.
In conclusion, human studies performed with H. Latiflora have shown that this Central American bark has positive blood glucose effects. Consequently, it is strongly advised to use this supplement with patients with mild to moderate T2DM.
Korecova, Marta, and Marie Hladikova. “Treatment of mild and moderate type-2 diabetes: an open, prospective trial with Hintonia latiflora extract.” European journal of medical research 19.1 (2014): 1-6.
Guerrero-Analco, José, et al. “Antidiabetic properties of selected Mexican copalchis of the Rubiaceae family.” Phytochemistry 68.15 (2007): 2087-2095.
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