Q & A Library
Pumpkin Pentose for Diabetes?
What can you tell me about taking pumpkin pentose for type 2 diabetes?
Answer (Published 4/5/2010)
Pumpkin pentose has been promoted on the internet for reducing blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. But I've seen no good evidence for its effectiveness. In fact, in a 2008 warning letter to a company that produced pumpkin pentose products and advertised them online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote that the "unlawful disease treatment and prevention claims on your website were too numerous to list...."
A medical literature search found that one animal study performed in China, published in 2007, showed some benefits for pumpkin pentose in the treatment of diabetic rats. I've found no other research duplicating or supporting those findings. I could find no studies of pumpkin pentose as a treatment for diabetes in humans. I don't recommend this supplement for two reasons: in addition to the apparent lack of any evidence of benefits in humans, it's pretty expensive - $60 per bottle.
My advice for managing type 2 diabetes focuses on the following healthy changes in lifestyle and diet:
Find more information on type 2 diabetes, including diet and supplement suggestions.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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