The mighty Mulberry tree produces its fruit in different climates all around the world and in every state in the U.S. except Alaska and Nevada. These trees and their berries have long been used in alternative medicine for health, longevity and disease prevention. Mercola.com reports that during the time of the Roman Empire, mulberries were used to treat “diseases of the mouth, throat and lungs,” and early Native Americans used the fruit from the mulberry tree to help with dysentery.
There are many benefits to ingesting mulberries. The berries, along with the stems and leaves of the mulberry tree, contain resveratrol, the anti-aging antioxidant. Dried mulberries also provide an array of critical nutrients including iron, vitamin C, K, A, E, B6, niacin, folate, potassium and magnesium.
A new study completed at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijiing, as reported by Medicalnewstoday.com, have discovered yet another important mulberry compound called rutin. Researchers say that rutin could be a key in the fight against obesity because it was shown to “activate brown fat [and] boost metabolism.”
Brown fat is brown adipose tissue (BAT). It’s not the unhealthy white fat, though the two fats can be mixed. Scientists believed that only babies had BAT until 2009, when it was found in adults with a low body mass index. The Chinese researchers discovered that the rutin found in mulberries activates BAT, which causes it “to burn energy and produce heat.”
In their experiment, they utilized two groups of obese mice. One group was genetically obese, the other was obese due to diet. The researchers gave both groups 1 milligram of rutin per 1 milliliter of drinking water. In both groups, the mice’s BAT was activated. Both groups experienced a higher energy burn and “better glucose homeostatis – the balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain glucose levels…” This set the stage, for both groups of mice, to have an overall reduction in fat, as well as an increase in BAT in fat tissue located just under the skin.
Wan-Zhu Jin, Ph.D, the co-author of the study believes that the rutin connection to BAT not only has the potential to treat obesity, but also other diseases related to obesity, like diabetes. Their discoveries have now generated a “substantial interest” in “BAT mediated metabolic improvement,” and they plan to continue studies to unveil the power of mulberries along with other effective and natural BAT activators.